A new Europe

ノルウェー·ノーベル委員会ヤーグラン委員長/欧州連合EUノーベル平和賞発表
ノルウェー, 2012年, トルビョルン·ヤーグラン

Last week the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 was awarded to the European Union.

The decision was announced in Oslo by Thorbjørn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Starting at 1:09 (below) he explains how the EU “has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”

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The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.

In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the European Union. The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership.

The fall of the Berlin Wall made EU membership possible for several Central and Eastern European countries, thereby opening a new era in European history. The division between East and West has to a large extent been brought to an end; democracy has been strengthened; many ethnically-based national conflicts have been settled.

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Note

Thorbjørn Jagland’s mother tongue is Norwegian, which – like English – is a stress-timed language.

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