Dear Mr Jagland,

The tradition of the Nobel Peace Prize is a remarkable story of shining the international spotlight on individuals and organisations which have made extraordinary contributions to our world. But the Nobel Peace Prize is not only a reward; it is also an encouragement to persevere, for its recipients as well as people across the world.

The European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, citing its advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe for the past six decades.

Since the end of the Second World War, Europe's peaceful development has not been linear. We have to admit that the then European Community failed to prevent the Yugoslav Wars, in which approximately 140,000 people lost their lives and memories of Europe's darkest moments of ethnic selection and genocide were revived.

Today, relations between two key players, Kosovo and Serbia are fragile - but they exist. The efforts to normalise relations between the two countries have been unprecedented and have created the opportunity of a lasting peace and cooperation in the region.

Lessons from other conflicts around the world have taught us that sometimes there is only a small window of opportunity to substantially advance peace -a solid, lasting peace that guarantees safety and stability for all citizens and I believe that today we are witnessing this window of opportunity between Kosovo and Serbia.

Not only as a reward for the progress achieved already, but also as a motivation, possibly as the last push that is needed for lasting peace, I therefore propose the nomination of Cathy Ashton, High Representative of the European Union, Ivica Dacic, Prime Minister of Serbia, and Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister of Kosovo, for the Nobel Peace Prize 2014.

The essence of Alfred Nobel's indications, to award the prize to persons who 'shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations' would rightly be respected.

Best regards,

Hannes Swoboda
S&D Group president

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Published: 29/01/2014
"Open letter for the Nobel Peace Prize nomination," by S&D Group president, Hannes Swoboda

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