“The prize was awarded primarily in recognition of over 60 years of peace on the European continent, the reconciliation between France and Germany, and also I think because of the Union’s work as a beacon of democracy that has inspired other European and non-European nations to embark on the path to democracy.”

A prize for everyone in Europe

“It was important to us that the prize did not only go to Brussels but that it was for everyone in every member state. That’s why we tried, with the Chancellor, to have as many EU leaders as possible in Oslo, so that they could celebrate on behalf of their people the fact that Europe is now a Union.

For me, the Nobel Peace Prize was the ultimate accolade for what has been achieved since the 1950s, but also an encouragement for today’s generation, in spite of economic difficulties and political tensions, which existed then as now, to carry on and shape our future together as Europeans.”