The European Union, a collection of countries in Europe, has been awarded an important prize — the Nobel Prize.
It was given the honour for keeping peace for more than 65 years.
That is a very big accomplishment, especially because the Second World War began just 21 years after the First World War ended in 1918.
But not everyone is happy to see the European Union receive the prestigious prize. That’s because even though Europe is not at war, it is struggling with a different kind of problem.
Many countries in Europe, including Greece, Spain and Italy, are having trouble paying down their debts. Their governments borrowed too much money and now they must cut back on the amount of money they spend to pay their workers and for things like roads, hospitals and schools.
Other countries in Europe that have managed their money better, such as Germany, are being called on to help bail out the troubled countries because they share a common currency.
This has led to disagreements over who spends money and how they spend it. It has even led to concern that the eurozone — the group of 17 European countries that use the euro as their currency — will fall apart.
Some people feel that Europe is not the best example right now of a nation deserving a prize that celebrates peace.
By Kathleen Tilly
How do you define peace? How do you think people or countries “keep the peace”?
Reading Prompt: Extending Understanding
Do you think the European Union deserves the Nobel Peace Prize? Why or why not?
If not, who deserves it more? Why?
Extend understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).
Grammar Feature: Dash
A dash (–) is used in a sentence when a writer wants to introduce extra information. It is also used to tell the reader to get ready for some important information.
Read the article again and pay attention to when dashes are used. Why do you think the journalist chose to use dashes instead of other punctuation marks (or no punctuation marks at all)?