The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes, if not the most prestigious prize, that may be bestowed upon a person or committee. As Alfred Nobel wrote in his will, the criteria for this prize is that it is to be given to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
This year it has been aptly presented to the European Union for its stabilizing ability that has “has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”
The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 European countries created in the aftermath of the Second World War with the intention of fostering economic cooperation so as to lead countries to become economically interdependent and more likely to avoid conflict. Since then it has evolved into an organization spanning all policy areas, from development aid to environment.
One of the European Union’s main goals is to promote human rights both internally and around the world. Human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights: these are the core values of the EU.
In a joint statement released by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council they said, "It is a tremendous honour for the European Union to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize...
These are also the values that the European Union promotes in order to make the world a better place for all.
The European Union will continue to promote peace and security in the countries close to us and in the world at large. We are proud that the European Union is the world’s largest provider of development assistance and humanitarian aid and is at the forefront of global efforts to fight climate change and promote global public goods. This Nobel Peace Prize shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for leaders and citizens all over the world."
President of the French Republic M. François Hollande expressed, "It is a huge honour for the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to the European Union.
Through this distinction, every European can feel proud to belong to a union that has been able to make peace between peoples who for a long time were in conflict and build a community based on the values of democracy, freedom and solidarity.
But this Nobel prize entrusts Europe with an even greater responsibility: to preserve its unity, the ability to foster growth and employment, and the solidarity it must demonstrate with its members.This reward commits us all to continuing towards a more united, fairer, stronger Europe, promoting peace."
Article published Oct. 12, 2012.