The last 2012 Nobel Prize was announced yesterday. But what is the Nobel Prize and who created it? It's a very prestigious award and was designed by Alfred Nobel. He was born on October 21, 1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. He became a famous scientist, inventor, businessman, entrepreneur, pacifist and founder of the Nobel Prizes. He died on December 10th, 1896. In 1895 Nobel wrote his last will, dedicating much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize. Five years after his death, the first Nobel Prize Award Ceremony was held at the Musical Academy in Stockholm and since then, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men, women and institutions (or organizations) from the four corners of the planet for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace. The ones who receive the Nobel Prize are denominated Nobel Laureates. The word "Laureate" is related to the laurel wreath. In Ancient Greece, it was a sign of great honor to be awarded with the laurel wreath.
According to the official web site of the Nobel Academy, the Nobel Peace Prize 2012 was awarded to European Union (EU) "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe". The European Union was created after the Second World War. The first steps were to foster economic cooperation: the idea was that countries who trade with one another become economically interdependent and so more likely to avoid conflict. So, in 1958, the European Economic Community (EEC) was created and initially increasing economic cooperation between six countries: Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It began as an economic union, but since then, it became an organization which includes other areas, such as development aid and environment. In 1993 its name was changed from the EEC to the European Union (the EU). After all these years, the European Union is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 European countries that together cover much of the continent and its importance is evident and relevant, no doubt at all.
Post Question: Do you think the European Union deserved the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize? Why? If you could designate someone (famous or not) to be awarded with one of the Nobel prizes, who would you like to indicate? Why? If you could create another area to the Nobel Prizes, which one would you like to include?
Tip: To learn a little bit more about the 27 EU member countries, check this map.