EU awarded 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

Delegation of the EU Union in Australia and New Zealand

EU awarded The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The Union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

In a joint statement, the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, said “It is a tremendous honour for the European Union to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. This Prize is the strongest possible recognition of the deep political motives behind our Union: the unique effort by ever more European states to overcome war and divisions and to jointly shape a continent of peace and prosperity. It is a Prize not just for the project and the institutions embodying a common interest, but for the 500 million citizens living in our Union.”

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton stated: “I am delighted at the news that the European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of its work on reconciliation, democracy, promotion of human rights and in enlarging the area of peace and stability across the continent.”

European Union Ambassador to Australia, H.E. David Daly, greeted the announcement with enthusiasm, saying “The Nobel Peace Prize recognizes the great achievements the EU has made in regional integration for peace. What started with six countries forming a Coal and Steel Community following World War II to help secure peace and stability has grown into a Union of 27 – soon to be 28 countries – working together. We are grateful for the indispensable support we have received from Australia over the 50 years of diplomatic relations with Australia, and together with my fellow EU Member States Ambassadors here in Canberra, I will continue to work closely with our Australian partners to promote peace, democracy, and prosperity around the world.”

Noting its collaboration with the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the EU for being awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, stressing its role in helping to build peace, promote human rights and support economic and social development across the world.

In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality.

The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilising part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace. The work of the EU represents “fraternity between nations“, and amounts to a form of the “peace congresses” to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.

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