EU leaders see Nobel as incentive for more accomplishments
Oslo: The representatives of the European community institutions Sunday defended the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the European Union after six decades of stability on the continent.
They said they viewed it as an inspiration to overcoming the economic difficulties that are presently facing the member countries.
The presidents of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy; of the Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, emphasized the validity of the founding values of the EU.
"We want the European Union to once again be a symbol of hope," Van Rompuy said.
Barroso, meanwhile, said that the EU partners had created a "single" political system that is moving European citizens toward a supranational community in which they share sovereignty.
Schulz said he was proud to provide a voice for the 500 million citizens represented in the European parliament, emphasizing at the same time that "the European Union is a fascinating project".
The representatives of the EU institutions will be those tasked Monday with giving the traditional Nobel acceptance speech in the name of the EU.
Joining them will be four young Europeans, among them a Spanish woman, who were the winners of a contest organized by the EU.
Also attending the ceremony will be 21 of the 27 member nations' leaders, including Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The European Union will allocate the cash award of 930,000 euros (a little over $1.2 million) that comes with the Peace Prize to projects to support children who are the victims of war and conflicts.