European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize
© European Union, 2012
In a ceremony at Oslo City Hall, representatives of the European Union were presented with this year's Nobel Peace Prize. In addition to the presidents of the three main EU institutions - who received the diploma and the medal - the event was attended by some twenty heads of state or government.
Delivering the first part of the Nobel Lecture, European Council President Van Rompuy stated that "it is with humility and gratitude that we stand here together, to receive this award on behalf of the European Union".
"This day reminds people across Europe and the world of the Union's fundamental purpose: to further the fraternity between European nations, now and in the future." In order to achieve this, he pointed out, it took more than symbolic gestures, and this is why the EU developed "an unrivalled way of binding our interests so tightly that war becomes materially impossible".
"Our continent, risen from the ashes after 1945 and united in 1989, has a great capacity to reinvent itself. It is to the next generations to take this common adventure further. I hope they will seize this responsibility with pride", the President concluded.
Taking over to pronounce the second part, European Commission President Barroso stressed that the EU "is more than an association of states. It is a new legal order, which is not based on the balance of power between nations but on the free consent of states to share sovereignty."
The fact, he added, that Europe "went from devastation to become one of the world's strongest economies, with the most progressive social systems, being the world's largest aid donor" confers a special responsibility on the EU.
And it is because of this, that "with all women and men of good will, the European Union will help the world come together. For justice. For freedom. For peace."