EU wins Nobel Peace Prize
The European Union has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee says it awarded the prize to the EU because it has "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe".
The committee also claims the future membership of Croatia and possibility of Serbia joining the organisation could help to heal the scars of the Balkan wars of the 1990's.
The decision to award the prize to the EU has already proven controversial on social media sites, with many questioning the timing of the prize, but the Nobel committee writes:
"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."
Representatives of the Nobel Committee say the decision was unanimous.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt welcomed the decision, he wrote on Twitter, "I warmly congratulate all of Europe and our peace to the Nobel Peace Price (sic) to the European Union. Highly deserved and highly important!"
However, the decision has also proven controversial. Left Party MP and member of the parliament's EU committee, Jens Holm, tweeted: "Peace Prize to the EU, the Nobel Committee really has to stop it.... I always though jokes about Norway were pretty poor, but this one has to be the worst ever".
The decision to award the Peace Prize to the EU leaked early Friday, with public service broadcaster NRK publishing the news over an hour before the official announcement.