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Statement by President Barroso on the Nobel Peace Prize9 December 2012
I am very happy to have arrived in Oslo today.
Being here to jointly receive this award on behalf of the European Union is an honour and a humbling experience.
This is an award for the European project – for the people and the institutions - that day after day, for the last sixty years, have built a new Europe.
It is a good moment to remind ourselves of what the European Union has done:
- it brings lasting peace between former enemies who fought many devastating wars on the continent including two World Wars;
- it brings lasting freedom, justice and democracy for 500 million people, including for so many that lived under dictatorship and totalitarian regimes;
- and it does so in a unique manner: by creating a political system that brings us together across national borders in a supranational community through the sharing of sovereignty.
I know that some of asked why now? Well, Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, summed it up perfectly on the day of the announcement [and again just now – and I wish to thank him warmly for his words]. "This is the right moment to give a clear message to Europe to preserve what we have achieved… This is a prize to have a better organised world to have stability and peace".
We will honour this prize and we will preserve what has been achieved. It is in the common interest of our citizens. And it will allow Europe to contribute in shaping that "better organised world" in line with the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law that we cherish and believe in.
The last sixty years have shown that Europe can unite in peace. Over the next sixty years, Europe must lead the global quest for peace.