When Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, woke up this morning he said he “did not expect it to be such a good day.” After all, it’s a moment where his region faces a seemingly insurmountable economic quagmire, soaring unemployment—a record 25 percent in Greece—and a political crisis that has exacerbated divisions in the continent rather than spur greater cooperation.

(MORE: E.U. Nobel prize sows discord — and laughter.)

But the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to award an ailing E.U. the Peace Prize has caused many to question whether the Brussels-based grand project of European integration deserves the full credit for transforming “most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”

Indeed, critics argue that the post-war peace was delivered by collaboration of several major players, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “If they want to give the prize for preserving the peace…

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