Timely reminder that EU was key player in peace

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has been met with much cynicism.

There is, however, need to pause and reflect on where Europe stood six decades ago when the European Coal and Steel Community, precursor of the EU, was founded. Here lay a continent destroyed by the Second World War, with more than 50 million dead, a war that came only two decades after the ending of the First World War.

The EU ensures that states co-operate peacefully, instead of through bloodshed, and the creation of the Single Market and the free movement of goods, capital, services and people has made us richer than we would have been without it.

It is often difficult to remember this as we endure the deepest recession in the EU’s history and rising Euroscepticism, which includes the UK.

The EU is not perfect, but it represents the most successful experiment in international co-operation in human history, a project that saw peace replace war – something which does no harm being reminded of.

Alex Orr