The Nobel Peace Prize was unanimously awarded to the EU by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
The award was given to the EU "...for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights..."
Thorbjorn Jagland, the head of the Committee made the announcement today (Friday, the 12-th of October), saying that:
The official statement on the Nobel Prize website highlights the efforts made for the reconciliation between European countries after WWII, which have led to and show that "historical enemies can become close partners", it stresses the benefits the Union has brought to Southern European countries in introducing democracy in the 1980s, praises the eradication of the division between East and West and the strengthening of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s, and highlights the strengthening of the process of reconciliation in the Balkans through the current membership negotiations in several countries in the region.
“We have to keep in mind what has been achieved on this continent and not let the continent go into disintegration again. We know what it means: the emergence of extremism and nationalism once again.”
It is a difficult time for Europe, but we must not forget the tremendous benefits it has brought to all of us. In the words of the Norwegian Nobel Committee:
"The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights."