The Norwegian Nobel Committee has today awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 to the European Union, noting that the Union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
“It is a tremendous honor for the European Union to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize,” said President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in a joint statement. “This Prize is the strongest possible recognition of the deep political motives behind our Union: the unique effort by ever more European states to overcome war and divisions and to jointly shape a continent of peace and prosperity… This Nobel Peace Prize shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for leaders and citizens all over the world.”
“This Nobel Peace Prize is for all EU citizens,” said European Parliament President Martin Schulz. “The European Union has reunified the continent through peaceful means and brought arch enemies together. Despite challenging economic conditions, the European Union is a magnet for stability, prosperity and democracy.”
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton also expressed her delight about the award and promised to continue to work tirelessly to drive the peace process forward across the world.
“I am delighted at the news that the European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of its work on reconciliation, democracy, promotion of human rights and in enlarging the area of peace and stability across the continent,” said Ashton.
In the countries of the EU, historic enemies have become close partners and friends.
I am proud to be part of continuing this work. The creation of the European External Action Service has enabled us to develop a comprehensive approach to better promote Europe’s core values throughout the world.
“I will continue to work tirelessly to drive this process forward.”
European Union Ambassador to the United States João Vale de Almeida said, “The Nobel Peace Prize recognizes the great achievements the EU has made in regional integration for peace… We are grateful for the indispensable support we have received from the United States over the years, and together with my fellow EU Member States Ambassadors here in Washington, D.C., I will continue to work closely with our American partners to promote peace, democracy, and prosperity around the World.”
Source: Delegation of the European Union to the United States
Image: Rock Cohen, via Flickr (CC)