European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize
The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its historic role in uniting the continent in an award meant as a morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis, Reuters said.
The EU has been a key in transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace," Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo.
"This is a message to Europe to do everything they can to secure what they've achieved and move forward," Jagland said, saying it was a reminder of what would be lost "if the union is allowed to collapse".
He praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War Two and for its role in spreading stability after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on December 10. The decision by the five-member panel, led by Jagland who is also Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was unanimous.
EU won from a field of 231 candidates including Russian dissidents and religious leaders working for Muslim-Christian reconciliation.
Reuters said many Norwegians are bitterly opposed to the EU, seeing it as a threat to the sovereignty of nation states. "I find this absurd," the leader of Norway's anti-EU membership organization Heming Olaussen told NRK.
"In Latin America and other parts of the world they will view this quite differently than they will from Brussels. The union is a trade bloc that contributes to keeping many countries in poverty." nepalnews.com