To be fair, the European Union has been on the candidate list for quite a few years before actually receiving it.
The timing seems a little off, though. As said, there's alot of nasty stuff going on right now, and the EU has done little to nothing substantial to resolve any of it, i.e. nothing has actually been achieved yet.
Of course we have the financial crises, but through those problems the still very sharp cultural differences between member states become apparent. And it's those cultural aspects that remain largely ignored when it comes to the forming of European policy.
In the past, the EU has shown severe lack of understanding in that area, for example during the Yugoslav wars. Apart from the economic drama's that put huge pressure on our monetary system and mutual trust, the political union still has a long way to go in keeping a fundamentally diverse set of nations together. Up to this point, everything revolves to much around money and ideology.
By the same token peace is never a given, and the vast majority of Europe has been enjoying a life in peace for almost three decades now. Though - with the risk of sounding too cynical - that may be more because of the individual attitudes of the European countries, and less a result of the politics in Brussels.
I believe this prize, similar to the case of Obama, is primarily about stimulating debate instead of rewarding achievement.