Dec. 10 - European leaders attend a ceremony awarding the European Union the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Three European presidents received the Nobel Peace Prize Monday on behalf of the European Union, honoured by the Norwegian committee which looked beyond Europe's current malaise to recognize its decades of stability and democracy after the horrors of two world wars.
"The reconciliation between Germany and France is probably the most dramatic example in history to show that war and conflict can be turned so rapidly into peace and cooperation," Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland told the audience in Oslo, Norway.
Europe is suffering feeble economic growth or outright recession, soaring unemployment and a number of its member states are unable to pay their debts. It has been called the worst economic crisis since World War Two.
The economic pain has provoked social unrest in a number of member states, notably near-bankrupt Greece. However, the Nobel committee focused on the EU's role in reconciling the disparate, warring corners of the "old continent" - the overarching success being to turn Germany and France from enemies into allies.
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