There is talk of a buoyant atmosphere and even champagne as eurocrats use Twitter to express their joy at the EU being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
However, on the streets of Brussels, the reaction is mixed.
“I think it’s good and encouraging to give this award to the EU during these times of crisis, because when everything is going well there’s less impetus for change,” said one man outside the European Parliament.
Another passerby was sceptical: “This is not representative of the Nobel, we are accustomed to seeing the prize going to a person who has risked things. And there are too many things a bit too dark in the European Union to justify this award,” he said.
As the 27-member bloc deals with debt problems that are causing internal squabbles and the pushing of national agendas, some see the prize as a warning not to let union fall into disarray.
One such person is Charles de Marcilly from the Fondation Robert Schuman, a research centre which studies the EU and its policies.
“Populism is now a real threat to the integrity of this model of European integration and moving towards living together better.
“With this award, the Nobel Committee has tried to say: “Watch out for populism, pay attention to the limits and risks so they don’t break what you have worked so hard to build,” said de Marcilly.
Collecting the prize could also be an issue for the EU, according to euronews correspondent in Brussels Audrey Tilve: “The question now is whether representatives from the Council, from the Commission or from the European Parliament will actually receive the Nobel Peace Prize – another way to test the nobility European unity.”
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