LONDON -- Hailing postwar European reconciliation as “probably the most dramatic example in history to show that war and conflict can be turned so rapidly into peace and cooperation,” Nobel committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland presented the Nobel Peace Prize to top European Union officials at a ceremony in Oslo.
The award to the 27-nation EU for advancing peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights, was handed to its three leaders, Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council; Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission; and Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament.
An appreciative audience on hand included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and leaders of European member states and institutions along with the Norwegian royal family.
Van Rompuy, in accepting the award, paid homage “to all the Europeans who dreamt of a continent at peace with itself, and to all those who day-by-day make this dream a reality.
"War is as old as Europe,” he reminded his audience. “Our continent bears the scars of spears and swords, cannons and guns, trenches and tanks, and more.”