Today, the European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. This distinction rewards the EU's contribution for over six decades to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.
"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", said the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission in a joint statement.
Pointing towards the future, the two Presidents expressed the European Union's commitment to continue "to promote peace and security in the countries close to us and in the world at large".
The Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee singled out the "EU's contribution for over six decades to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."
It valued the stabilising part played by the EU that "has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace. The work of the EU represents "fraternity between nations", and amounts to a form of the "peace congresses" to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.