for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe
European Union (EU)
Cooperation and peace in Europe
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the EU on the grounds that the organisation had advanced peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. Furthermore, the EU had promoted friendly relations between the former archenemies Germany and France.
The EU had also strengthened democracy in Greece, Spain and Portugal. The same development continued after the end of the Cold War, when a number of Central and Eastern European countries joined the EU. This enlargement did away with the division between east and west and settled many ethnically based national conflicts.
Moreover, the EU had contributed to reconciliation in the Balkans in the aftermath of the wars there and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. In an era of major economic difficulties and social unrest, the union had played a stabilising role. Crises of that nature had previously triggered political and military conflicts in Europe. This was now virtually inconceivable, largely on account of the EU.