OSLO, NORWAY (WKOW)-- The Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo awarded the Nobel Peace Prize Friday to the European Union for peaceful reconciliation after World War II between former foes, Germany and France, and for spreading democracy and human rights through Europe.
The European idea was born out of the suffering of the bloodiest war in human memory, which was the last conflict in a series of three fought between the neighboring countries over the course of 70 years, the committee said.
This year's winner was picked from 231 different nominations, 43 for organizations and the rest for individuals, the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee said.
The Peace Prize is the fifth Nobel Prize to be awarded this week, preceded by honors in medicine, physics, chemistry, and literature. Two American scientists, Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work revealing protein receptors in cell membranes that tell the cells what is going on in and around the human body. Their achievements have allowed drug makers to develop medication with fewer side effects.
The prize for excellence in the field of economics will be announced on Monday in Stockholm, Sweden, wrapping up this year's awards.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 93 times since 1901 to 99 individuals and 24 organizations, according to the Nobel Prize website. Many heads of state received it for their contributions in creating peace with conflict partners, fighting for human rights within their borders, or making amends for their countries' past atrocities.
The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by a committee of five people, chosen by Norway's parliament. The prize is named for Alfred Nobel, a Swedish scientist and inventor of dynamite. Nominations come from lawmakers around the world, university professors, previous Nobel laureates and members of the Nobel committee.
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