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This month the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU), for contributing for more than 60 years to “the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”. The award comes at a time of severe financial and social turmoil in Europe, and is meant to remind the world of the EU’s most important achievement — the transformation of most of Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace”, where “historic enemies have become close partners and friends”. The Nobel Committee saluted the continuous efforts of the union to enlarge the European peace project, and its commitment to bring to an end many ethnic conflicts, including those in the Balkans, through the forthcoming admission of Croatia as an EU member next year, the start of membership negotiations with Montenegro and the granting of candidate status to Serbia.
High-level EU officials, including the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and the Cypriot Presidency, all saluted the award through official statements. Their declarations highlight the fact that the prize is not only for the EU institutions and leaders, but for all the 500 million European citizens that helped make this project a reality. The EU leaders further committed themselves to “continue to promote peace and security in the countries close to us and in the world at large”.
The award consists of a Nobel diploma, a gold medal and SEK 8 million (approx. EUR 900 000). The prize will be presented in Oslo on 10 December. It is not yet clear who from the EU institutions will be there to collect it and on what will the check be spent.Nobel Prize Press release Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso Statement Catherine Ashton Press release Cypriot Presidency