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Saturday, October 13, 2012

[] Nobel Peace Prize for EU frivolous: British Press

Nobel Peace Prize for EU frivolous: British Press

Berlin: Europe's leaders have expressed delight over the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the EU and hailed it as a tremendous honour and encouragement for their endeavour to promote unification, amid derision from the British press which called the decision "frivolous".

European Commission President Manuel Barroso said on Friday that it is a "tremendous honour" for the European Union to be awarded with the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

EU president said on Friday that the Nobel Peace Prize is a tremendous honour for the union.

It is the "strongest possible recognition of the deep political motives behind our union: the unique effort by ever more European states to overcome war and divisions and to jointly shape a continent of peace and prosperity," he said in a statement in Brussels.

The peace prize "is not just for the project and institutions embodying a common interest, but also for around 500 million citizens of the EU," Barroso said.

The Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee announced earlier on Friday in Oslo that the EU was awarded the peace prize in recognition of its "contribution for over six decades to the advancement of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

It appreciated the stabilising part played by the 27-nation bloc that has "helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace," the statement said.

Barroso said at its beginning, the European Union brought together nations emerging from the ruins of two devastating World Wars, which originated on this continent and united them in a project for peace.

Over the last 60 years, the EU has united a continent split by Cold War around values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, he said.

These are also the values the EU promotes in order to make the world a better place for all. The EU will continue to promote peace and security in the countries close to it and in the world at large, the commission President said.

"The Nobel Peace Prize shows that in these difficult times, the European Union remains an inspiration for leaders and citizens all over the world," he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the Nobel committee's decision and said the award is in recognition of the idea of European unity.

"One should not forget that in order to keep this peace, democracy and freedom, we have to work over and over again," she told a news conference here.

However, the British newspapers poured scorn on the Nobel Committee's move to award the Peace Prize to the EU.

"EU have got to be joking!" the Sun tabloid said, while Daily Mail called it: "Nobel peace prize for idiocy".

The Times described the award "frivolous" and the Daily Telegraph said in an editorial that the decision "prompts, above all, one question: is it too late for Alfred Nobel's heirs to ask for their money back? The greatest service it has done is not to diplomacy, but to comedy."

Only The Financial Times backed the award, saying it "rightly recognises a historic feat".


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