What a brilliant move, giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.  In my book this was the most credible Peace Prize ever.  The EU has in 60 years brought peace to the most war ravaged place in the world.  Not only did it bring former implacable enemies together in common cause, it also managed the break up of the Soviet Bloc without a shot being fired.  I say well earned.

As an 18 year old freshman at the University of Maryland I dove into my geography studies with a passion born of being raised on reading about the world and hearing about far off places from my father.  I also found economics to be a natural study for me.  I quickly found both of these studies linked to the then fledgling  “European Community” that had just, in 1957,  graduated from a trade pact to being a new “political” entity.  I found the underlying strategy, to  use closer economic cooperation and integration as a means to prevent further conflict, to be very appealing.  It clearly demonstrated what I had already learned, contrary to popular belief, war is bad for economic growth.  Economies proper in an atmosphere of peace, not conflict. 

I signed on to the ideas of  Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman, the two French “fathers” of European integration.  But I looked beyond Europe to the entire world.  If the concept could serve to bring peace to Europe, why not the entire world?  I decided to work in the vineyard of greater international economic integration, what we now call the “global economy.”  First, because it would greatly increase overall output, but, more importantly, working together in common economic cause would lead to less conflict.

I have spent 50 years in this field, first as a public servant and for the last half in private business.  I am very proud  of my small contribution to the “global economy” which has served in places to lessen conflict, e.g. Europe, and in others to raise poor countries to higher economic stations, e.g. China.  And I will continue to work for a genuine “global economy” until I can no longer come up with a new idea or plan.

Again, my heartiest congratulations to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for this imaginative and long overdue recognition of what is easily the most important concept of the last century, peace through economic coopearation and intergration.