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EU Commissioner Stefan Fuele Talks About The Bloc's Peace Nobel

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele
EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele
Soon after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union, RFE/RL's Brussels correspondent Rikard Jozwiak spoke to EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele for his reaction. He filed this interview from Brussels.

RFE/RL: In awarding this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, the Nobel committee highlighted the positive effects of EU enlargement. As the EU's enlargement commissioner, what is your reaction?

Stefan Fuele: I did not see that coming, but that makes my joy even better. And what perfect timing, just two days after the presentation of the progress report on [EU] enlargement!

RFE/RL: How will the prize affect your personal work?

Fuele: For me it is a huge satisfaction because enlargement for me is a matter of my heart and soul but it means a lot to many, hundreds of my colleagues, appreciation for the work being done and encouragement for the next [EU enlargement package] for the colleagues working both in Brussels and in the enlargement country capitals."

RFE/RL: Do you think that the prize will act as a catalyst to further EU enlargement?

Fuele: Absolutely. At the time when some are talking about enlargement fatigue and others about reform fatigue, the Nobel Peace Prize is a tremendous encouragement and I hope that it will make both politicians and citizens think seriously about the transformative power of enlargement. I hope it will strengthen our argument that deeper integration and enlargement should accompany each other because this is the right way to strengthen the European Union.

RFE/RL: What message does the prize send to the capitals in the Western Balkans and Eastern Europe?

Fuele: The most important [is that it] will be a timely reminder that they are part of the most successful and ambitious European project. We are missing good news these days and this one about the Nobel Peace Prize for the European Union is definitely a good news and not only for enlargement countries but for the European Union as a whole. I  don’t see just a light at the end of the tunnel anymore, I see a beacon now after this.

RFE/RL:  Do you think the prize will have any effect on the old EU member states that are more reluctant to expand the club?

Fuele: I think it will open their minds. We sometimes are too much concentrated, and probably rightly so, [about] our own internal issues and domestic challenges, but this is the time and this is an opportunity to think about having in our hands the most powerful, transformative instrument, which enlargement is. And I hope that they will stop looking at enlargement and deepening integration as two separate issues but as two parallel processes which side by side are strengthening the European Union and not the other way around.
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by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 12, 2012 18:21
Of course its a surprize-we all think the peace prize should have gone to general Safarov from the hub of european civilization-thats azeri stan,of course-shame on the nobel judges-all the caviar sent by the good old azeris and what do they get in return?Criticism on human rights,corruption,blah blah blah-shame on you,EUropeans!!!

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
October 13, 2012 04:41
:-)))))))))))))))))))))) I mean, the fact that the Euro-guys have asked their friends from the Nobel Prise Committee for this favor demonstrates the degree to which they are desperate to hide the results of the decades of economic mismanagement on their part from the eyes of the European public. One can only be surprised that they did not make arrangements necessary in order for Frau Merkel to be awarded a Nobel Prise in the field of ECONOMICS AND FINANCE :-)). But I am sure, this award is coming soon as well :-)).
The EU actually reminds me of the former Soviet leader Leonid Breschnev: the older, the weaker and the sicker he was getting, the stronger he appetite of all sorts of awards and orders was. Apparently, the EU has finally reached the stage on which Breschnev was in about 1980. So, just give this organization a couple more year - and all its problems will be solved in the most natural of manners :-)).

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
October 13, 2012 06:46
It is obvious that the so-called Nobel committee thinks more not about real nominees but about how not to anger Putin..

It is clear that the main candidates for the award is Pussy Riot who opposed Putin's ongoing preparations for nuclear war and priests obscurantist-pedophiles who hunt for children and engaged in greed..Putin threw girls in a concentration camp where they were bullied and tortured..
It is also not clear how one can give the prize to EU, which allowed the emergence of racism in Abkhazia and says nothing about abkhaz bandits who killed thousands of people!!??..

Тhis Mr.Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, who announced the winner apparently does not know that according to the Abkhaz constitution he is a second-class man and that in Abkhazia many types of to whom Breivik is a little boy...
Award of the Nobel Prize to EU is a shame of Europe and disgrace to all those who made the decision...

by: Trajko from: UN
October 14, 2012 13:17
Ironic that the put a picture of Fuele in front of the flag of Macedonia. Only a coward like Fuele can placate nationalistic modern day Greeks in their attempt to wipe Macedonians off the map and deny their existence. That alone makes this award a farce!

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