The EU has received the 2012 award for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
In its announcement on 12 October, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said its decision was based on the stabilising role the EU has played in transforming most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The EU’s most important achievement, according to the committee, has been "the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights". The work of the EU represents "fraternity between nations" and amounts to a form of the "peace congresses" cited by Alfred Nobel as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.
The European Union is the 21st international organization to win the award since 1901.
The Prize Award Ceremony took place in Oslo on Monday, December 10, 2012 and the Nobel Peace Prize Concert on Tuesday, December 11, 2012. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Parliament President Martin Schulz represented the EU at the award ceremony and most of the Member States were represented by their leaders as well.
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The prize was received on behalf of the EU by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barrroso, and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz. The traditional Nobel lecture was given by Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso.
Ambassador João Vale de Almeida, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United States, said in a video that the award is a powerful recognition of the EU's past achievements in moving Europe from war to peace and reconciling countries and peoples around the project of democracy, freedom, respect for human rights and cooperation. Moreover, it is an inspiration and encouragement for the Union's future action.
► To view the video on Ambassador Vale de Almeida on the Nobel Peace Prize, click here