The awarding of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union is acknowledgment for all of us that we can overcome our differences and live together, and is also an inspiration to the rest of the world, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said on October 12 2012.
The European project has led the enemies of yesteryear to overcome their differences and to unite to build a society based on democracy, solidarity and co-operation. Without freedom of movement, without the single market and without solidarity, modernEuropewould not have been possible, Mladenov said.
“I think that all of us, Bulgarian and EU citizens, can congratulate ourselves on this award, which is not only recognition of our common efforts but also gives us confidence that we are on the right track.”
ForBulgaria, today’s award means recognition that the country’s efforts here in the Balkans are fully in the context of the success of the European idea, Mladenov said.
The top priorities forBulgariaare not only to be an example of tolerance and good neighbourliness but also a generator of stability in a difficult region, he said.
“This means that we should not lose our enthusiasm for the future ofEurope, for the enlargement of the European family here in the Balkans, and for the role that we can have in resolving conflicts in the world,” Mladenov said.
In a joint statement, European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso said that it was a tremendous honour for the EU to be awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
“This prize is the strongest possible recognition of the deep political motives behind ourUnion: the unique effort by ever more European states to overcome war and divisions and to jointly shape a continent of peace and prosperity. It is a prize not just for the project and the institutions embodying a common interest, but for the 500 million citizens living in our Union,” Van Rompuy and Barroso said.
At its origins the EU brought together nations emerging from the ruins of devastating World Wars – which originated on this continent – and united them in a project for peace, the joint statement said. Over the past 60 years, the EU has reunified a continent split by the Cold War around values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, they said
“These are also the values that the European Union promotes in order to make the world a better place for all. The European Union will continue to promote peace and security in the countries close to us and in the world at large. We are proud that the European Union is the world’s largest provider of development assistance and humanitarian aid and is at the forefront of global efforts to fight climate change and promote global public goods.
“This Nobel Peace Prize shows that in these difficult times the European Union remains an inspiration for leaders and citizens all over the world,” Van Rompuy and Barroso said.