Saturday, 13 October 2012

verðlaun, iad duais, the prize, o prémio, el premio, el premi, ar priz, le prix, de prijs, den präis, der prisen, premija, den prisen, i priset, palkinto, auhind, der preis, il premio, præmium, il premju, lu premiu, w nagroda, a díj, cena, çmimi, premiul, τα βραβεία, прэмія

It is a great honour to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, along with 502 million fellow Europeans, and I believe in the congratulatory and admonishing spirit of the committee’s unanimous decision. Individuals surely take on the burden and potential of promoting harmony, too, and there are worthy and magnanimous individuals out there working in the public and struggling in the shadows to those ends, but awards en masse, neither slights for the other nominees nor anodyne and over-cautious, are not without precedent, like when the prize was given to Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans Frontièrs, Ärzte ohne Grenzen) or Great Britain conferring the George Cross collectively to the people of Malta for gallantry during World War II.

Cumulatively, the people of Europe and not just their ombudsmen and institutions have realized peace, progress and understanding while preserving and even sharpening individual culture and heritage in just scant decades from a landscape of conflict and autocracy. Conspicuous heroism is sometimes hard to see in the glare of everyday daylight. This is a feat that should not go unrecognized and the prize is not diluted by bureaucracy as an instrument of reconciliation and cooperation that goes by an institutional name, but rather, I believe, serves as an important nudge that everyone, regulators and citizens and those associates and cadets branches and those waiting in the wings alike, should try to live up to what’s been bestowed on and inherited and be not distracted from the course by threats that divide and diminish.