Nobel Peace Prize Goes to ... European Union
It's another surprise pick
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2012 4:25 AM CDT
Updated Oct 12, 2012 7:50 AM CDT
The European Council building is reflected in a photograph of the EU flag on the wall of the European Council building in Brussels.    (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

(Newser) – As it struggles with internal divisions and an ongoing debt crisis, the European Union has been given a surprise morale boost by the Nobel Committee—plus a $1.2 million prize a few of its members could certainly use. The committee awarded the 2012 peace prize to the 27-member bloc, citing its six decades of contributing "to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in Europe," the New York Times reports.

Many found the Norwegian committee's decision surprising, not least because Norway itself has twice rejected EU membership, the Telegraph reports. More on the rationale and reaction, from the Guardian and AP:

  • "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," says Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland.
  • "This goes to show the Norwegians really do have a sense of humor," says the leader of the UK Independence Party.
  • “The Nobel committee is a little late for an April fool's joke,” says European Parliament member Martin Callanan. “The EU’s policies have exacerbated the fallout of the financial crisis and led to social unrest that we haven’t seen for a generation."
  • The Nobel's Jagland defended the latter point: “There are many things to say about the economic crisis—where it originated for instance. It started in the United States, and we had to deal with it.”
Before the decision, bookies had given the best odds to American political scientist Gene Sharp and Egyptian nun Maggie Gobran.

Next on Newser: Who Won? Call It a Draw
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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Oct 13, 2012 5:55 AM CDT
What a sham,and a shame.
Oct 13, 2012 1:40 AM CDT
Seems to win this damn thing these days you have to bomb a poor country.
Oct 12, 2012 4:39 PM CDT
Nobel, you guys are really starting to lose it. First Obama (who DID NOT deserve to win, I don't know if that is even in question) and then the EU right now? The EU has only been around since 1993, and the massive political and social upheavals that we are seeing right now over there are negative in the extreme. This recession is the first time the EU has faced real adversity, and it's capsizing like an overladen boat in a storm. It has not helped 'foster peace,' if anything it has caused immense tension. It's genuinely sad to see this award get politicized, but I don't think we can deny that now.