Over the next sixty years, Europe must lead the global quest for peace
President Barroso is in Oslo today to collect the Nobel Peace Prize, alongside President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and European Parliament President Martin Schulz. "Being here to jointly receive this award on behalf of the EU is an honour and a humbling experience."
This is an award for the European project – for the people and the institutions - that day after day, for the last sixty years, have built a new Europe.
It is a good moment to remind ourselves of what the European Union has done:
- it brings lasting peace between former enemies who fought many devastating wars on the continent including two World Wars;
- it brings lasting freedom, justice and democracy for 500 million people, including for so many that lived under dictatorship and totalitarian regimes;
- and it does so in a unique manner: by creating a political system that brings us together across national borders in a supranational community through the sharing of sovereignty.
I know that some of us asked why now? Well, Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, summed it up perfectly on the day of the announcement [and again just now – and I wish to thank him warmly for his words]. "This is the right moment to give a clear message to Europe to preserve what we have achieved… This is a prize to have a better organised world to have stability and peace".
We will honour this prize and we will preserve what has been achieved. It is in the common interest of our citizens. And it will allow Europe to contribute in shaping that "better organised world" in line with the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law that we cherish and believe in.
The last sixty years have shown that Europe can unite in peace. Over the next sixty years, Europe must lead the global quest for peace."
Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony
On Monday 10 December at 13.00, the European Union will receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
Like all winners, the EU will receive the prize from the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which had announced its award decision on 12 October. The EU will be represented by the three Presidents - José Manuel Barroso of the Commission, Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council, and Martin Schulz of the European Parliament.
The traditional Nobel lecture, on behalf of the EU, will be given by Presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy. Four young Europeans, winners of the online contest organised by the EU, will be joining the EU delegation in Oslo to collect the prize.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on this website and on Europe by Satellite.
For more information, including full programme of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize celebrations, please see the online press pack and the inter-institutional website on the Nobel Peace Prize.