The European Union is going to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year. This has been noticed by many a commentator - some argue it's a great, others consider it an error. In a sense this prize shows that the project of guaranteeing peace in Europe has succeeded. But the EU of today looks very different from the EEC that was created through the Treaty of Rome in 1957 - the challenges Europe is currently facing are not related to the maintenance of peace among European countries. I'd rather argue that the democratic deficit and lack of transparency are some of the key issues that must be solved if the EU is going to be successful in the future. The relation between EU institutions, national governments (the nation-state) and people is diffuse at best. As one Finnish writer noted, the European Union has achieved much, but in one essential aspect the EU has failed: to create a common voice and a shared identity. Without a shared identity there is a risk that the Union will lose whatever legitimacy it is enjoying among its citizens.
At a personal level I was once again reminded of how wonderful the Hungarian language is. One would think that in a country where almost 10% of the population consist of ethnic Hungarians, there would be a chance to learn the language.