Nobel Peace Prize 2012
… have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
“From war to peace: a European tale” Key messages from Nobel Peace Prize Lecture delivered by President Van Rompuy and President Durão Barroso in Oslo on 10 December 2012
President Van Rompuy said: At a time of uncertainty, this day reminds people across Europe and the world of the Union’s fundamental purpose: to further the fraternity between European nations, now and in the future.
This is where the European Union’s “secret weapon” comes into play: an unrivalled way of binding our interests so tightly that war becomes materially impossible. The Union has perfected the art of compromise. No drama of victory or defeat. For this, boring politics is only a small price to pay.
So, where there was war, there is now peace. But another historic task now lies ahead of us: keeping peace where there is peace. After all, history is not a novel, a book we can close after a Happy Ending: we remain fully responsible for what is yet to come.
Our continent, risen from the ashes after 1945 and united in 1989, has a great capacity to reinvent itself. It is to the next generations to take this common adventure further. I hope they will seize this responsibility with pride.
President Barroso said: Several generations of Europeans have shown again and again that their choice for Europe was also a choice for freedom.
Our Union is more than an association of states. It is a new legal order, which is not based on the balance of power between nations but on the free consent of states to share sovereignty.
The uniqueness of the European project is to have combined the legitimacy of democratic States with the legitimacy of supranational institutions: the European Commission, the European Court of Justice.
My message today is: you can count on our efforts to fight for lasting peace, freedom and justice in Europe and in the world.