"Better fight around a table than on a battle-field"
The European Union receives the Nobel Peace Prize
- What this means for Interpretation DG
The quote in the headline is Jean Monnet's golden rule, and an aspect where interpreters have made a contribution to the advent of peace in Europe.
Today, Marco Benedetti, Director General of Interpretation, sent the message below to DG Interpretation staff:
The prize which the European Union receives today belongs to us all, both to the peoples and the institutions of Europe. For more than fifty years the European Union has been engaged in building a political structure which in scope and originality is without equal in the history of mankind. Today we are all Nobel Peace Prize winners. But I believe that interpreters have also played a key role in the achievement of this prize. Since where does peace begin? Peace begins when people start talking instead of fighting.
Peace in Europe began when the guns were silenced and the interpreting booths switched on. When the representatives of our countries began to address and to resolve their differences through discussion and negotiation.
However, they could not understand each other without interpretation. The ideals of European integration could not be formulated without our invisible, but indispensable work.
We often see that true revolutions in the history of humanity come ultimately not only from ideas but also scientific and technical progress. The computer and the internet have proved more effective than any political movement in spreading democracy throughout the world. In the same way, we can also say that the European Union could not exist without the valuable contribution of our profession. A technical profession, a craftsman of words, a profession that is difficult to learn and not always recognised, but which acts as a conduit for all proposed agreement amongst Europeans.
I therefore join with you all in celebrating this Nobel Prize for peace awarded to the EU and in recognising the important role that the interpreters, as well as those that make their work possible, have played and will continue to play in building Europe.