Despite a year marked by one of the worst crises in decades and repeated scenes of social unrest across the continent, the European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel peace prize.
The Norweigien prize committe awarded the 27-nation bloc for its 60 years of contributions to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
The award today by the Nobel Committee shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for countries and people all over the world and that the international community needs a strong European Union’, said President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
The committee also praised the Union for rebuilding Europe after World War II and for spreading stability after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
‘We must never forget that at its origins the European Union brought together nations emerging from the ruins of the devastating 2nd World War and united them in a project for peace, built on supranational institutions representing the common European interest.
The European Union, starting with the European Community, has reunified countries split by the Cold War, and made it around values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, justice, the rule of law and respect for human rights’, said President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
The award is thought to be an attempt to encourage greater integration in the EU as the eurozone crisis has threatened to tear the European project apart.
The Nobel Peace Prize Committee and the international community are now sending a very important message to Europe that the European Union is something very precious, that we should cherish it for the good of Europeans and for the good of the entire world’, said President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
The Nobel peace prize is worth 1 million euros and will be handed out on the 10th of December in Norway, a country that has so far refused to join the Union. It remains to be seen who will pick up the award.