EU receives Nobel Peace Prize

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European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy (C) presents a self written poem next to European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (L) and European Parliament President Martin Schulz as they address a press conference in Oslo, on December 9, 2012 where they are to receive the 2012 Peace Nobel Prize attributed to EU. AFP / DANIEL SANNUM-LAUTEN

OSLO, Norway – European leaders are in Norway to collect the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the European Union for fostering peace on a continent ravaged by war.

Nobel committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland will present the prize, worth $1.2 million, at a ceremony in Oslo City Hall later Monday. Some 20 European government leaders are to attend the ceremonies and an evening banquet.

This year’s prize comes against a backdrop of protests as the EU grapples with its worst financial crisis, which is causing deep tensions within the union, soaring unemployment and requiring massive austerity measures.

Nobel laureates in medicine, chemistry, physics and literature will be feted at similar ceremonies in the Swedish capital, Stockholm. The ceremonies are always held on the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.

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