The EU is awarded 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 has been awarded to the European Union.

"The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace," Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said during the announcement of the prize in Oslo on 12th October.

The EU is currently undergoing economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, however, 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. They emphasise that the EU received the award for six decades of contributions "to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg congratulated the EU with the prize: "Today’s announcement is clear recognition of the significance of the EU for ensuring lasting stability and security in Europe,” Stoltenberg said, emphasising the EU's key role in democracy building in former dictatorships in Southern and Central Europe.

The Nobel Peace Prize (Norwegian and Swedish: Nobels fredspris) is awarded annually by the Norwegian Nobel Committee "to the person (organisation) who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

The committee that selects the peace prize winner has been appointed by the Norwegian Storting (Parliament), but the committee members have made their decision without any political input from outside.

The award ceremony for the Nobel Peace Prize will be held in Oslo on 10th December.

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