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And The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Goes To The European Union
October 12, 2012
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Well, with the way things are going right now, it's fair to say the European Union wasn't going to win the Nobel Prize For Economics.

It did, however, win the Nobel Peace Prize today for its work in promoting peace, democracy and human rights in Europe.

"The stabilizing part played by the European Union has helped to transform a once-torn Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace," Nobel committee chair Thorbjoern Jagland said.

Over the years, the EU has grown from 6 countries to 27 - that's about 500 million people in all.

It emerged out of the ashes of the Second World War, believing that strong economic ties would keep the peace - even between old enemies - and create a united Europe.

The Nobel committee echoed that sentiment saying "Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners."

The committee also pointed out how Spain, Portugal and Greece joined after dictatorships collapsed, and that countries in Eastern Europe signed on after decades of communist rule.

and-the-2012-nobel-peace-prize-goes-to-the-european-union-feature2.jpgHowever, there are some who think this is a strange time for the EU to win the Peace Prize especially with the idea of united Europe on shaky ground.

The EU is struggling with a major debt crisis that has led to high unemployment, social unrest, and concerns about the Euro.and-the-2012-nobel-peace-prize-goes-to-the-european-union-feature3.jpg

In some respects, the EU looks more divided than it has in years.

The Nobel chair acknowledged the EU's current problems but he said the committee wanted to focus on the 60 years of achievements.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she considers the Nobel as a "personal incentive" to build on six decades of peace in Europe.

Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, tweeted "The EU is an unique project that replaced war with peace, hate with solidarity. Overwhelming emotion for awarding of (hash)Nobel prize to EU".

Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council President, said the award was recognition for the work of "the biggest peacemaker in history".

Dutch lawmaker and EU skeptic Geert Wilders said "Nobel prize for the EU. At a time Brussels and all of Europe is collapsing in misery. What next? An Oscar for Van Rompuy?"

Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party said "A general feeling of mutual distrust, hatred and dislike has grown up between Germany and Greece - so I find it baffling that the EU has been awarded this prize".

Interestingly, even though the Nobel committee is based in Norway, Norway is not a member of the EU. In fact, the people there have rejected joining twice, in 1972 and 1994.

It's not clear yet who will accept the prize for the EU.

The last organization to receive the award was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which won in 1999.

and-the-2012-nobel-peace-prize-goes-to-the-european-union-feature4.jpgAnd the Nobel committee has surprised people before, like in 2009, when Barack Obama won despite being in office a short time and leading a country that was fighting two wars.

The prize is worth $ 1.2 million. Apparently, it's going directly to Greece.

Just kidding.

You can see the complete list of Nobel Peace Prize winners here.

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