European Union Awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

Joint statement by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, on the award of the 2012 Nobel Peace prize to the European Union

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. At its origins the European Union brought together nations emerging from the ruins of devastating World Wars – which originated on this continent – and united them in a project for peace. Over the last sixty years, the European Union has reunified a continent split by the Cold War around values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

These are also the values that the European Union promotes in order to make the world a better place for all. The European Union will continue to promote peace and security in the countries close to us and in the world at large. We are proud that the European Union is the world’s largest provider of development assistance and humanitarian aid and is at the forefront of global efforts to fight climate change and promote global public goods. This Nobel Peace Prize shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for leaders and citizens all over the world.

It is not just a great honour for the European Union to receive the Nobel Peace Prize this year. This important prize in the midst of the most serious crisis to strike Europe since the adoption of the Treaties of Rome 55 years ago is also an extremely valuable political signal to the world, but also to the Europeans. Martin Schulz will receive the prize in Oslo together with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission. I am delighted that some of my colleagues have, like myself, decided to attend the ceremony. By being there, we want to underscore that the European Union is all of us together: 500 million citizens. We all know that we Europeans have united for the better.” said Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union encourages us to renew our commitment to the European unification process. At the same time, the awarding is a powerful reminder that it is necessary to do so. We should take the opportunity offered by this award to pause for a moment, put the merry-go-round of politics, the 24-hour news culture and the constant need to placate the markets out of our minds and reflect on what is really important. All too often the EU’s historic achievements are taken for granted. But the fact is that neither the European integration process, nor the peace and prosperity which that process has brought us, are irreversible. The award recognises the work of people who, through their commitment to integration, have made European unification possible. If we lose the trust of those people, the unification process will be in danger.

Europe’s recipe for success – which has now been recognised through the award of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize – is the Community method. In practice, the Community method means striking a balance between the interests of the smaller and larger Member States, between the less well-off and more prosperous Member States, between North and South and between East and West; resolving disputes by means of dialogue and consensus. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament

This entry was posted in European Policies, Mag 7, November 2012 - 1st Annual Forum of the EUSDR. Bookmark the permalink.