The EU’s most important achievement, according to the committee, has been the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human right.
The EU has received the 2012 award for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
In its announcement , the Norwegian Nobel Committee said its decision was based on the stabilising role the EU has played in transforming most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The EU’s most important achievement, according to the committee, has been “the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights”.
The work of the EU represents “fraternity between nations” and amounts to a form of the “peace congresses” cited by Alfred Nobel as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.
The European Union is the 21st international organisation to win the award since 1901.
The leaders of the EU, represented by the Presidents of the European Council, the Commission and the European Parliament, have all warmly welcomed the award.
Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, said that the award recognised the EU as the “biggest peace-making institution ever created. Citizens in all our countries can be proud to be Europeans”.
European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, saw the award as “a very important message to Europe that the EU is something very precious, that we should cherish it for the good of Europeans and for the good of the entire world”.
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said the award was for all Europeans. It recognised that “the EU has reunified the continent through peaceful means and brought arch enemies together”.
The prize will be conferred in Oslo on 10 December. Like all winners, the EU will receive the prize from the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The EU will be represented by the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament.
The EU will give the award money (€930,000) to projects supporting children who are victims of war and conflicts.