[A]ny fool can point to Europe’s failures. But the award of the Nobel Peace Prize is the right choice at the right time. The EU is in trouble, and the prize reminds us what the union really stands for: "peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights." To those who say we would be better off without it, I say be careful for what you wish for.
Stephen Walt attaches some caveats to the success of the EU experiment:
[I]f you want to understand why there’s been no war in Europe since 1945, you’d want to give as much credit to NATO and nuclear deterrence as you would to the EU itself. Somehow, I don't think the Nobel Committee will award a peace prize to the bomb or to a military alliance. But it wouldn't be any sillier than the award they just gave.
Erik Voeten pushes back:
I understand why Realists like Stephen Walt and Dan Drezner think that the EU should have shared its award with NATO, U.S. Air Command or even the Atomic bomb (and I leave the reasons why that isn’t happening to our readers). But an organization that played a part, even if not necessarily a dominant one, in bringing peace and democracy to a historically violent continent does not deserve the "worst prize ever" epithet; not in this company.
Alex Massie argues that, with this year's selection, the Nobel Committee is now parodying itself:
For all its history and prestige, [the Nobel Peace Prize] is, in the end, only a matter of good intentions. And while noble and better than some alternatives, good intentions have rarely been enough in international affairs. This, of course, is true of the European Union too, so in this respect at least, perhaps this silly award is fitting after all.
Andrew Roberts makes the case that the committee has long since discredited itself:
[A] rot set in with the political correctness of the 1990s. The (usually Labor Party-dominated) Norwegian parliament, the Storting, chooses the Nobel Committee, and in that decade the Peace Prize was won by Rigoberta Menchu Tum, the Guatemalan activist who fabricated her autobiography and supported murderous Communist guerrillas, and by Yasser Arafat. In the 2000s it went to Jimmy Carter, Mohammed ElBaradei (the International Atomic Energy Agency chairman who consistently underplayed Iranian nuclear ambitions), Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Barack Obama, in the very first year of his presidency. Recognition of genuine achievement has been replaced by the worst kind of genuflection toward liberal icons.