Commenting on the Nobel Peace Prize award to the EU for six decades of advancing peace in Europe, senior Lib Dem MEP Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber), who has been the European Parliament’s Vice President responsible for democracy and human rights since 2004, said:
“The Nobel Peace Prize for the EU is recognition of the transformative power of the European project that brought a war-torn continent back to prosperity and through its enlargement process helped to spread democracy and freedom to the former Soviet bloc and is a model for reform worldwide.
“MEPs now have a decisive say on the EU’s international trade agreements and democracy and human rights are a cornerstone of our approach.
“In the latest survey of 25,000 European citizens by Eurobarometer, spreading democracy and human rights across the world was seen to be the most important task of the European Union.
“We must take this award as an encouragement to stand up for our values and redouble our efforts. We are grateful to the Nobel Committee on behalf of our constituents who must share in this award. At least we will be able to collect the award, unlike other prize winners in the past such as Andrei Sakharov, Aun San Suu Kyi and most recently Liu Xiabao.”
McMillan-Scott founded the world’s largest pro-democracy and human rights programme after the fall of theBerlinwall. The EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Instrument (EIDHR) today spends 150m per year and remains the only EU programme which can operate without host country consent.