The European Union has won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
The decision by the five-member panel, led by Thorbjoern Jagland, was unanimous.
In his announcement, Jagland said the European Union deserved the prize for contributing “over six decades to the advancement of peace, democracy and human rights in Europe”.
“The suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a 70 year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable” he said.
“This shows how through well-aimed efforts and by building mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners.”
Jagland praised the institution for its “stabilizing part [in which it] helped to transform most of Europe from a continental war into a continental peace” and ensuring the “continuity of Europe”.
European Commision president Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed the announcement, saying it was a “great honour for the whole of the EU and all 500 million citizens”.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage remarked that “this goes to show that the Norwegians really do have a sense of humour”.
The peace prize has previously stoked controversy after Barack Obama was awarded the honour in 2009 soon after being elected US president.
Reactions so far:
65 years without a war (Dead Yugoslavs don’t count obvs). So why aren’t we hailing the South American Peace Miracle, acheived without an EU?
— Paweł Morski (@Pawelmorski) October 12, 2012
(If Nobel story is true) Weird sense of timing to give EU prize as the biggest project is failing and support for integration is falling
— EconomistCharlemagne (@EconCharlemagne) October 12, 2012
— Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) October 12, 2012
”I know Norwegians are famous for their inclusive democracy, but when you give a peace prize to a whole continent I think you’re losing the plot. All I can say is I hope it comes with some cash. Isn’t it about a million quid? We can give it to the Greeks. It won’t go far, but maybe they could put it towards their tear gas budget?”
Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers
“Shouldn’t America also receive a peace prize, in their case for not declaring fighting internally war for around 150 years? Europe’s currently sliding into an economic abyss, with Germany pushing Spain into endless recession and deflation reminiscent, ironically, of world war reparations in their rigid imposition, timing and magnitude, so perhaps the plan was to award them the prize while we still can.”
Anthony Sharot, Founder and Head of Search at Market Appeal