The European Union has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo announced the winner of the prestigious prize during a ceremony Friday
The committee says “the union and its core members have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace, reconciliation democracy and human rights in Europe.”
The committee said although the European Union is current undergoing “grave economic difficulties” and “considerable social unrest” it wished to focus on the EU’s stabilizing role in transforming Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported an hour ahead of the announcement that the decision, by the five-member panel, was unanimous.
Nobel prize announcements began Monday with the medicine prize going to stem cell researchers John Gurdon of Britain and Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka. Frenchman Serge Haroche and American David Wineland won the physics prize on Tuesday for work on quantum particles. Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka won the chemistry prize on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Chinese author Mo Yan was awarded the prize for literature.
The Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences will be announced on October 15.
The winners will receive their prizes at formal ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10.
(Photo: Päivi Tiittanen)