The decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union is ‘great recognition of the major historical role the European Union has played in peace, security and democracy, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.
Labour leader Diederik Samsom, currently in talks with Rutte on forming a new coalition government, said the award is ‘a great honour’.
However, the award has implications for this generation of politicians, he said. ‘They know what is at stake’.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal emphasised the role of the EU in guaranteeing peace, while the defence minister said the decision is a ‘boost’ for the EU.
However, D66 leader Alexander Pechtold, one of the most pro-European campaigners in parliament, said he felt the prize has more impact if it is awarded to a single person.
And Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-European PVV, said the prize had been given to the EU because of all the problems facing the alliance. ‘What next? An Oscar for [EU president Herman] van Rompuy,’ Wilders said.
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