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Congratulations to European Union, recipient of 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has congratulated the European Union for being the recipient of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

12 October 2012

The World Council of Churches congratulates the European Union and its leaders on the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to the EU. The award is given in recognition of the contributions by the EU and its forerunners "to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe."

After two world wars that killed millions of people and destroyed entire regions, it has been at the heart of the project of the European Union to bring peace and stability to the war-torn continent and establish common legal and democratic standards on the basis of solidarity and mutual accountability. The EU followed these intentions in its brave steps to include more states in Europe and to improve living standards of ordinary people.  

Under the crisis preparedness component of the “Instrument for Stability” (Art 4.3), the European Commission has established peace-building initiatives. The EU’s role over the years in responding to crisis situations, especially some of the longer-term security threats, has been widely acknowledged and recognized over the years.

The events of recent years have shown the urgency of not giving up the intentions and values that guided the process so far. At a time when the European Union is confronted with difficult challenges and struggling internally and in its external relations to uphold just and equitable relationships which make for peace, the award is an encouragement to focus on the values of peace, justice and solidarity in the search for a viable and vital future.

We are confident that our member churches in European Union states contribute to the development of the European Union in the spirit of the theme of our forthcoming assembly “God of life, lead us to justice and peace.” Together with them, the World Council of Churches conveys its profound appreciation to all those leaders of the EU who were and continue to be committed to struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights in Europe.

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary