Oslo, Oct 13 (TruthDive): Norway’s Nobel Prize Committee handed Peace Prize 2012 to European Union, for its work for six decades in progressing peace in Europe even though the union faces its most serious crisis of its history since it began from the wrecks of the two world wars.
The committee stated EU had assisted to change Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”The last organisation that received Nobel Peace Prize was Medecins Sans Frontieres, in 1999.
While declaring the award, Thorbjoern Jagland, the committee president admitted the EU’s existing social unrest and financial problems. But he said that the committee has focused on EU’s work in six decades for advancing “democracy and human rights, peace and reconciliation.”
Mr Jagland emphasised EU’s work in closing the settlement between Germany and France after Second World War and applauded the organisation for uniting Spain, Greece and Portugal after the authoritarian regimes between them collapsed in 1970s.
He said the reconciliation work of EU had now moved to the Balkan countries, pointing out that Croatia is about to get its membership. There is also a chance of EU membership for Turkey, which had also “progressed human rights and democracy in that country.”
The senior members of EU are overjoyed with the award. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of EU Commission called the peace prize announcement as a “great honour” and Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council President said it was a great recognition for the immense work of “the chief peacemaker in the history.”
Mr Barroso said in awarding the peace prize to EU, the Committee said that European project should be valued, both beyond and within Europe.
EU was started after the world wars – putting together the former enemies. When it was started, it had only six countries and now they are 27, another country is joining EU next year and more countries are willing to join in the coming years. Mr Barroso said, “EU is the most important project for peace in terms of transnational, super national co-operation.”
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor said the Nobel Prize is a “personal motivation” to build six decades of peace in Europe. She said in order to maintain this peace, freedom and democracy, they have to work hard over and over again.
Francois Hollande, French President said EU has to show it is “worthy” of the award. He added they are proud, are honoured and have a lot of responsibilities in front of them.