Auteur: Lisbeth Kirk
Thorbjorn Jagland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and now chairman of the Norwegian Parliament's foreign affairs committee wants to hand the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize to the EU for its unification of Eastern and Western Europe.
In a contribution to Norwegian daily Aftenposten, Mr Jagland writes, "In my opinion, 2004 is the right year to award the European Union the Peace Prize. I intend to use my right as a parliamentarian to present such a proposal to the Norwegian Nobel Committee".
Awarding the prize to the EU in 2004 would recognise the contribution to peace made by the inclusion of the former Eastern Europe into the European economy and culture, according to Mr Jagland.
He adds that the possible inclusion of Turkey would open even wider perspectives.
"Then we would be joined by a country able to build bridges towards the Orient".
Since the first Nobel Prizes were awarded in 1901, the Peace Prize has, in accordance with Alfred Nobel's will, been awarded by a committee of five, appointed by the Storting (Norwegian Parliament).
The Norwegian Nobel Committee bases its assessment on nominations that must be postmarked no later than 1 February each year.
The awards ceremony will be held in December 2004.