Three presidents to collect Nobel Prize

Three presidents Van Rompuy Barroso Schultz.jpg

Almost a week after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the European Union has finally decided who will collect the award: the three presidents.

Rather than one person making the trip to Oslo on 10 December 10, the EU has decided it will send three people: Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Parliament President Martin Schulz.

However, it remains unclear who will deliver the speech accepting the award, which normally involves just one speaker. And it is also unclear what will happen to the €925,000 prize money, although it is expected to go to charity.

The Nobel Committee announced the EU had won the award on 12 October, saying it had helped transform Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace" in the decades since World War Two.

Critics of the EU, which has struggled for three years to get to grips with its debt crisis, will see the fact that three people are accepting the award as a reflection of how the union struggles to take decisions and always ends up compromising.

The last time the award went to an organisation was in 1999, when emergency aid group decins Sans Frontiers won.  Usually when an organisation is recognised, an individual is also named.

That was the case in 2005 when the award went to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its then-director-general Mohamed ElBaradei – making it easier to know who to send to collect the prize.

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