Friday, October 12, 2012

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union (EU).

Norwegian Nobel Committee says that The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

Read below the official press release about the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 is to be awarded to the European Union (EU). The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

In the inter-war years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made several awards to persons who were seeking reconciliation between Germany and France. Since 1945, that reconciliation has become a reality. The dreadful suffering in World War II demonstrated the need for a new Europe. Over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. 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.

In the 1980s, Greece, Spain and Portugal joined the EU. The introduction of democracy was a condition for their membership. The fall of the Berlin Wall made EU membership possible for several Central and Eastern European countries, thereby opening a new era in European history. The division between East and West has to a large extent been brought to an end; democracy has been strengthened; many ethnically-based national conflicts have been settled.

The admission of Croatia as a member next year, the opening of membership negotiations with Montenegro, and the granting of candidate status to Serbia all strengthen the process of reconciliation in the Balkans. In the past decade, the possibility of EU membership for Turkey has also advanced democracy and human rights in that country.

The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights. The stabilizing part played by the EU has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.

The work of the EU represents "fraternity between nations", and amounts to a form of the "peace congresses" to which Alfred Nobel refers as criteria for the Peace Prize in his 1895 will.

The chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee "Thorbjørn Jagland" announces the Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes created by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel. It is a highly regarded award, recognized internationally.

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who

...shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

The Nobel peace prize will be handed out in Oslo, Norway, while the other five awards (medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics) are presented in Stockholm.

Last Year, Nobel peace prize 2011 was handed jointly to three women, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, and Yemeni women's rights activist Tawakkul Karman.

Some facts of Nobel peace prize

92 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on 19 occasions: in 1914-1918, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1939- 1943, 1948, 1955-1956, 1966-1967 and 1972.

The prize was NOT awarded at certain years as the Nobel Foundation guidelines says as "If none of the works under consideration is found to be of the importance indicated in the first paragraph, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds." During World War I and II, fewer Nobel Prizes were awarded.

62 Peace Prizes have been given to one Laureate only.
28 Peace Prizes have been shared by two Laureates.
2 Peace Prizes has been shared between three person

The average age of all Nobel Peace Laureates between 1901 and 2011 is 62 years

To date, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is Tawakkol Karman, 32 years old when awarded the 2011 Peace Prize.

The oldest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to date is Joseph Rotblat, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the Prize in 1995.

Of the 101 individuals awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, 15 are women. The first time a Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a woman was in 1905, to Bertha von Suttner.

The work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been honoured the most - three times - by a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho, awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, is the only person who has declined the Nobel Peace Prize.

Below Three Nobel Peace Prize Laureates have been under arrest at the time of the award

  • German pacifist and journalist Carl von Ossietzky
  • Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo

There is one posthumous Nobel Peace Prize, to Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961. From 1974, the Statutes of the Nobel Foundation stipulate that a Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of the Nobel Prize

Many believe that Winston Churchill was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but he was actually awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature. In fact, Churchill was nominated both for the Literature Prize and for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jane Addams was nominated 91 times between 1916 and 1931, when she was finally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. By contrast Emily Green Balch, Fridtjof Nansen and Theodore Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize the first year that they were nominated.

About European Union

The European Union (EU) is a unique economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), formed by six countries in 1951 and 1958 respectively.
Euro Bank notes

The EU has developed a single market through a standardised system of laws which apply in all member states.

Within the Schengen Area (which includes 22 EU and 4 non-EU states) passport controls have been abolished. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital, enact legislation in justice and home affairs, and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development.

In 2002, euro notes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states.

Member states of the European Union

There are twenty-seven member states of the EU.

 Six core states founded the EU's predecessor, the European Economic Community, in 1957 and the remaining states joined in subsequent enlargements.

Before being allowed to join the EU, a state must fulfill the economic and political conditions generally known as the Copenhagen criteria.

These essentially require a candidate to have a democratic, free market government together with the corresponding freedoms and institutions, and respect the rule of law.

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