Re: @But do we actually need all this progress?
Except, of course, the little problem that is never acknowledged: the European economies had begun making all of the changes necessary to bring about this new peaceful era in the aftermath of world war 2, before even the Coal and Steel union between France and Germany was put into place, never mind the EU, which wouldn't be implemented until the mid 90s. The EU was late to the party, claimed credit for something it had nothing to do with, and in the end spent most of its time fighting over which of its presidents would get to hold the prize certificate and who'd pocket the cash.
The EU and the EEC before it did nothing to create peace in Europe. They rode on the post-war economic boom that was brought about by rapid (and necessary) cooperation and integration between the nations of Europe, then claimed they were responsible for it, when in reality they've done the most to rein it in and crush it with their constant regulation.
And the nobel peace prize wasn't meant to be awarded to organisations anyway. It's right there in the charter for the damn thing.