The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2012 Peace Prize to the European Union, Norway’s national broadcaster NRK reported, without saying where it got the information.
Geir Lundestad, the director of the Nobel Institute, said at the Nobel center in Oslo that he had “absolutely no comment to anything.” Spokespeople for European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Barroso had no immediate comment on the Norwegian report. The prize is scheduled to be announced at 11 a.m. in Oslo.
Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in an interview in Aftenposten published today that the decision was unanimous and not particularly complicated without naming the winner.
“It’s unfortunate that they aren’t able to keep quiet,” said Oeivind Stenersen, a Nobel historian. “You could argue the EU shouldn’t get it because they are in the midst of a crisis but that’s precisely why they would need a boost.”
Past peace laureates include U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009 and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Last year, the prize was awarded to Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemen’s Tawakkul Karman, a human rights activist and journalist.
Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite who died in 1896. The first prizes were handed out in 1901.
A prize for economics was established in 1968 by Sweden’s Riksbank. All awards except for the peace prize are awarded in Stockholm, and this year’s awards come with 8 million kronor ($1.2 million) of prize money.