As the Norwegian Nobel Committee explains in its announcement of 12 October: “The Union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”
The Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established at the bequest of Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. The Peace Prize is awarded by a Committee of five persons appointed by Norway’s Parliament.
Seeing the Prize as “a tremendous honour for the European Union”, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, in a joint statement, commented:
“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".