Europe’s Eyes on the Prize

There is not one single founder of the EU. But, as the EU accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012, three people in particular deserve to be remembered as its creators.

LONDON – Institutions are not lovable. They are rule-bound and dull; they have routines, committees, agendas, budgets – and rows about budgets. If they are successful, they go on forever.

Prizes are for heroes. Like heroes, prizes blaze and are gone. Prizes belong to those who make great discoveries, write great poems, or discover new ways of living – to the bringers of new things. Institutions are dull – that is their purpose – but those who found them may also be creators, even heroes.

There is no single founder of the European Union. Many people, perhaps even hundreds, contributed. But, as the EU accepts the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012, three in particular deserve to be honored.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.