Telephone interview with José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, recorded after the announcement of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union (EU), on 12 October 2012. The interviewer is Nobelprize.org’s Merci Olsson.
[Merci Olsson] Hello, is this President Barroso?
[President Barroso] Yes, it is me.
[MO] My name is Merci Olsson. I’m calling from Nobelprize.org, the official web site for the Nobel Prize. Congratulations ([PB] Thank you) to the European Union for being awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
[MO] What message do you think this prize sends to the world?
[PB] I think the most important message this prize sends to the world is that the European project and the European Union is something we must cherish. Something very precious, not only for us in Europe, but also for the rest of the world. Because the European Union is, in fact, the result of a project for peace that brought together nations emerging from the ruins of the Second World War. It was the European Union that united them in peace around the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, justice, rule of law and respect for human rights. And the European Union was able to do it through separate national institutions representing the common European interests. So it is indeed a unique project, that is a source of inspiration for many people around the world that are precisely admiring this project of peace. And also, the values that are so important. We are also proud of the European Union, that we are the world’s largest provider of development and humanitarian assistance. And that we are at the forefront of global efforts to protect our planet and to promote global public good. So I think that it is indeed a great honour for the European Union for all its 500 million citizens, for all the member states, for the European institutions. It is a justified recognition for this unique project that has brought peace to our continent. It is a source of inspiration for citizens all over the world.
[MO] Thank you. And one more question, who will you send to Oslo to represent the European Union to receive the prize?
[PB] We have not yet discussed this fact yet, OK? We have just received the news.
[MO] Yes, I’m sure.
[MO] And how do you think this prize will affect the financial crisis the European Union is currently undergoing?
[PB] I think it is a message of hope and confidence. In fact, in times where there are some challenges in the European Union. So the fact that Nobel Peace Prize Committee and indeed the international community, I think we can say, the international community shows this admiration and recognition for the European Union. It is also a message of confidence and encouragement for the important decisions that we are taking to overcome all the difficulties that we are facing today.
[MO] Thank you for so much for your time. Congratulations.
[PB] Thank you.
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