EU announces trio to collect Nobel Peace Prize

Wednesday 17 October 2012 23.34
The EU will be awarded with the prize on 10 December
The EU will be awarded with the prize on 10 December

Almost a week after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the European Union has finally decided who will collect the award.

Rather than one person making the trip to Norway on 10 December, the EU has decided it will send three people - one to represent each of its main institutions: the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament.

As a result, Commission President José Manuel Barroso, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Parliament President Martin Schulz will all fly to Oslo for the ceremony.

However, it remains unclear who will deliver the speech accepting the award, which normally involves just one speaker. It is also unclear what will happen to the $1.2m prize money, although it is expected to go to charity.

The Nobel Committee announced the EU had won the award last Friday, saying the 55-year-old organisation had helped transform Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace" in the decades since World War Two.

Critics of the EU, which has struggled for three years to get to grips with its debt crisis, will see the fact that three people are accepting the award as a reflection of how the union struggles to take decisions and always ends up compromising.

The last time the award went to an organisation was in 1999, when emergency aid group Médecins Sans Frontières won.

Usually when an organisation is recognised, an individual is also named.

That was the case in 2005 when the award went to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its then director general Mohamed ElBaradei, making it easier to know who to send to collect the prize.