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EU Leaders to Receive Nobel Peace Prize
December 10, 2012

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Leaders of the European Union have arrived in Oslo, Norway, to receive this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Accepting on behalf of the 27-nation group will be European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (Portugal), EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (the Netherlands), and EU Parliament President Martin Schulz (Germany). Also attending will be 20 other government leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Thorbjoern Jaland, chairman of the Nobel Committee, will present the prize at a ceremony at Oslo City Hall. A banquet at Oslo's Grand Hotel will follow. The Prize is worth $1.2 million, which will be forwarded to the EU as a whole. EU representatives have said that they will give all the money, as well as matching the amount, to projects that help children in war zones.

The selection of the EU as winner of the Peace Prize was not without controversy. Hundreds of people gathered for a protest outside Norway's Parliament. Among the protest was Tomas Magnusson from the International Peace Bureau, a body that won the Peace Prize in 1910. Three other former winners of the Prize — Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, and Adolfo Perez Esquival of Argentina, have voiced disapproval, saying that the EU's dependence on military force is in contradiction with the principles of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Since the first Peace Prize in 1901, the award has been given 93 times, to 100 individuals and 24 organizations. The Nobel Committee reserves the right not to give the award in any given year. Among the organizations to win the Peace Prize in previous years are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations, the U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, Doctors without Borders, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, Amnesty International, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the International Red Cross, and the Quakers.

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