The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the European Union (EU) “for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”.
The Nobel committee said the EU had helped transform Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace”, BBC reported.
The last organisation to be given the award was Medecins Sans Frontieres in 1999.
Announcing the award, Nobel committee president Thorbjoern Jagland acknowledged the EU’s current financial problems.
But he said the committee wanted to concentrate on the body’s work over six decades of advancing “peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights”.
Jagland highlighted the EU’s work in sealing the reconciliation between France and Germany in the decades after World War II.
He also praised the organisation for incorporating Spain, Portugal and Greece after their authoritarian regimes collapsed in the 1970s.
Jagland said the EU’s reconciliation work had now moved to Balkan countries, and that Croatia was on the verge of membership.
Reacting to the award, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso wrote on Twitter: “It is a great honour for the whole of the EU, all 500 million citizens, to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace prize.”