The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for a long-lasting commitment to peace in Europe
The chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee has announced today that the EU is the winner of the 2012 Peace Prize for its role in uniting the continent. He said that the EU has been a driving force for peace and democracy after the Second World War and transformed Europe "from a continent of war to a continent of peace".
The commitment of the EU to human rights was also mentioned by the Nobel committee.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, said: "It is a tremendous honour for the European Union to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. 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. It is a Prize not just for the project and the institutions embodying a common interest, but for the 500 million citizens living in our Union." The President of the European Parliament declared: "This Nobel Peace Prize is for all EU citizens".
The Nobel Peace Prize is dedicated to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". Since 1901, 92 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded.