EU Wins 2012 Nobel Peace PrizeWorld | October 12, 2012, Friday // 12:10| views
A file photo shows the EU flags in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 14 June 2012. Photo by BGNES
The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, obviously playing down the impact of the raging euro zone debt crisis.
The prize will be presented in Oslo on December 10. The decision by the five-member panel, led by Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjoern Jagland, was unanimous.
The committee said the EU had helped to transform Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The EU and its predecessors "have over six decades contributed to peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights," Nobel Committee president Thorbjoern Jagland said in Oslo.
Jagland acknowledged the EU's current financial problems and social unrest.
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".
The last organization to be given the award outright was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which won in 1999.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said he was "deeply touched and honoured" with the award.