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Nobel Peace Prize Award

October 12th, 2012

European Union flag. Image credit: Flickr user erjkprunczyk

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner is … 500 million people in 27 countries!!

How’s that possible?

The Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded their prestigious prize to the European Union, or EU.

The European Union is made up of 27 countries in Europe.

The EU won the award because it formed after World War II ended, in 1945, with the idea of working together instead of fighting each other. And they’ve managed to stay quite peaceful ever since — over 50 years.

The head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, said, “… the E.U. has helped to transform most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”

The 27 European Union countries. Image via Big Stock Photo

The EU started with just 6 countries in 1958 (not called the EU then). They linked their economies so that they would need to co-operate.

Since then, it has grown to 27 member countries, with more hoping to join soon. They have a common currency (money) called the Euro.

Still, they have their problems. Right now, they’re in the middle of the worst finanical crisis in the EU’s history. So some people are very surprised that the EU would win the prize right now, even calling it “absurd.”

But the EU’s most powerful leader, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said it was “an immense honor.”

It’s not clear who will accept the award yet, though.

Do you think the EU was a good choice to receive the Peace Prize?

Here are a couple of really great websites explaining the EU:

The official European Union website for kids ! Excellent explanations, as well as EU games (who knew?!)

The official European Union website , excellent for older kids.

And, you can click here to be taken to the Nobel Prize website  to see the Peace Prize announcement and learn about all the other awards they handed out in different subjects, like science and literature.

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