2012 Nobel Peace Prize

The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union (EU) "for over six decades [having] contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe" by a unanimous decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

The decision highlighted the reconciliation of France and Germany, stating that "over a seventy-year period, Germany and France had fought three wars. Today war between Germany and France is unthinkable. This shows how, through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners." The decision also highlighted the EU's contribution to the "introduction of democracy" in Greece, Spain and Portugal, the advancing of democracy and human rights in Turkey, the strengthening of democracy in Eastern Europe following the Revolutions of 1989 and overcoming of "the division between East and West" and ethnically based national conflicts, and finally the EU's contribution to the "process of reconciliation in the Balkans."[1]

The Nobel Peace Prize
NobelUE2012
The medal and the certificate exposed at the European Commission
Awarded forOutstanding contributions to peace
Date12 October 2012
LocationOslo
CountryNorway
Presented byNorwegian Nobel Committee
Reward(s)8 million SEK ($1.2M, 0.9M)
First awarded1901
2012 laureateEuropean Union
WebsiteNobelprize.org
The member states of the European Union (European Communities pre-1993), animated in order of accession. Only territories in and around Europe are shown.

Nominations

For the 2012 award the Nobel Committee received 231 valid nominations, compared to the record 247 candidates in 2011.[2] 43 of the nominations were organisations, while the remaining 188 were individuals, either alone, together with others or together with organisations.[3]

Norwegian Nobel Committee members

Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee were appointed by the Norwegian Parliament to roughly reflect the party makeup of that body. The Committee had the following membership in 2012: Thorbjørn Jagland (chair), Kaci Kullmann Five (deputy chair), Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Berit Reiss-Andersen, and Gunnar Stålsett (member during Ågot Valle's sick leave).

Announcement

The award was announced on 12 October 2012. The Nobel citation referred to the strict demands the European Union placed on all would-be members, gave special mention to Greece, Spain, and Portugal—all of which joined in the 1980s after dictatorships ended—and referred to the countries in Eastern Europe that embraced it after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Official reactions

European Union

The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said that the award recognised the European Union as the "biggest peacemaker in history."[4]

The President of the European Parliament, German social democrat Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply touched. The European Union has reunified the continent through peaceful means and brought arch enemies together. This historic act of reunification has been rightfully recognised."[5] He said that "from the Balkans to the Caucasus, the EU serves as a beacon for democracy and reconciliation."[6]

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, called the award "a very important message to Europe that the European Union is something very precious, that we should cherish it for the good of Europeans and for the good of the entire world."[7]

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, said she was "delighted" at the news, adding that "in the countries of the EU, historic enemies have become close partners and friends. I am proud to be part of continuing this work."[8]

European Union members and candidates

Founding members

 Belgium – The Prime Minister of Belgium, Elio Di Rupo, said that "this choice shows that the European project continues to inspire the world today. The European Union was originally the dream of people and politicians in search of peace and prosperity for all citizens. It has become a strong symbol of cooperation and progress. Europe, a continent that was torn by terrible wars, thanks to the European Union is an example for the world of peaceful dialogue and conflict prevention."[9]

 France – The President of France, François Hollande, said the prize was an "immense honour," adding that "through this award, every European can feel pride, that of being a member of a union which has been able to make peace between peoples who for a long time clashed, and to build a community founded on values of democracy, liberty and solidarity."[10] Former President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing said that "it is right that this extraordinary effort that has been accomplished by the Europeans and their leaders to establish a lasting peace on their continent—historically ravaged by war—is rewarded and honored."[8]

Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F074398-0021, Bonn, Pressekonferenz Bundestagswahlkampf, Kohl
Helmut Kohl, who together with François Mitterrand is regarded as the main architect of the Maastricht Treaty that established the European Union in 1993, said the award was "a wise and far-sighted decision" that "is above all a confirmation for the European peace project."

 Germany – The President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, called the award "a great encouragement in difficult times" and said the EU is "a unique project of peace and freedom."[11] The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, called the award a wonderful decision that "honours the idea of European integration."[12] The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, Guido Westerwelle, called the award "a fantastic decision which makes me proud and happy. European integration is the most successful project for peace in history."[8] Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl called the award "a wise and far-sighted decision" that "is above all a confirmation for the European peace project. As Europeans we all have reason to be proud today. I am proud, and I wish for God's blessing for us on our further path to a united Europe."[8]

 Italy – The Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Monti, hailed the decision and said that the European Union's "formula of (using) integration to stop war and guarantee peace and practised for decades is the subject of study and admiration in other parts of the world."[13]

 Luxembourg – The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, called the award a "good decision," stating that the EU from its inception was a peacemaker in Europe. He added that "it is sometimes useful to get such recognition from the outside [...] to remind us why we are considered a model for others."[14]

 Netherlands – The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, said the award was a "great recognition of the major historical role the European Union has played in peace, security and democracy."[15]

New accession states (by order of accession)

 Denmark (1973) – The Minister for Europe of Denmark, Nicolai Wammen, said the prize is "fully deserved, because the EU has been a peace project from the beginning. The European cooperation has been successful in creating lasting peace between countries that for centuries have been at war with each other."[16]

 Ireland (1973) – The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Eamon Gilmore, "warmly welcomed" the decision, stating that "the European Union has been the most successful peace process in our lifetime, and indeed in our living memory."[17]

 United Kingdom (1973) – The British government issued a statement, saying that "this award recognises the EU’s historic role in promoting peace and reconciliation in Europe, particularly through its enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe. The EU must always strive to preserve and strengthen those achievements for the future."[18]

 Greece (1981) - The Prime Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras was representing Greece and in his announcement he stressed the need for advanced social cohesion for facing the problem of unemployment, in order to avoid right-extremists raise in the European Union.[19]

 Spain (1986) – The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, said the award was "excellent news," adding that "the EU serves as a stimulus for the further consolidation of Europe's political, economic and monetary union."[20]

 Austria (1995) – The President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, said the award was "great and pioneering news for Europe," adding that "we have always considered the united Europe as a peace project, and the grand recognition of this idea by the Nobel Prize committee gives us confidence and courage to continue working on the European peace project."[21][22]

 Finland (1995) – The President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, said the prize was a magnificent recognition that the EU has worked hard for peace and brought virtues of the European tradition to the outside world. The Prime Minister of Finland, Jyrki Katainen, said "there is every reason to be happy that we can take part in integration, building stability and strengthening the project of peace."[23]

 Sweden (1995) – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Carl Bildt, warmly congratulated "all of Europe" and said the prize was "highly deserved and highly important."[24]

 Czech Republic (2004) – The President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, called the decision a "great mistake," adding that "it would make sense, if the award would have been given to an individual instead of an organisation. To award a bureaucratic institution is an 'empty' prize."[25]

 Hungary (2004) – The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, said the EU deserved the Nobel Peace Prize, and that the EU represented the peaceful coexistence of previously hostile countries.[26]

 Poland (2004) – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Radosław Sikorski, issued a statement, saying "congratulations to the EU, and therefore to all of us," adding that "the Nobel Peace Prize signifies that European integration is a guarantee of peace in the region."[27]

 Slovenia (2004) – The President of Slovenia, Danilo Türk, said that the prize was deserved because the EU is "the most successful peace project in the history of humanity." The Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Janša, stated that peace was one of the founding causes for the foundation of the European Union and that the award was a reminder that peace is a value.[28]

Candidates and other aspiring members

 Albania – The Foreign Minister of Albania, Edmond Panariti, said the award meant a "great responsibility that should encourage the will for enlargement."[29]

 Bosnia and Herzegovina – The chairman of the joint Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegović, said the award "should be a strong boost for EU countries to overcome existing problems and stick to the concept of further enlargement."[29]

 Croatia – The Foreign Minister of Croatia, Vesna Pusić, praised the EU for its role in keeping "a lasting peace in a region that had wars almost continuously for centuries."[29]

 Kosovo – The Foreign Minister of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, said that "awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU makes us proud and motivates us to continue the reforms in order that Kosovo become a member of the union."[29]

 Macedonia – The President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, said the award honoured the project of "unifying peoples in their mutual efforts for freedom, solidarity and prosperity."[29]

 Montenegro – The Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Nebojša Kaluđerović, said the "idea to unite European countries with all their differences is the best proof the EU is worthy of this award."[29]

 Serbia – The Prime Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, congratulated the EU, expressing hope that it would manage to preserve its unity.[29]

 Turkey – The Minister of European Union Affairs of Turkey, Egemen Bağış, said that "his country's membership perspective has contributed to this award."[30]

Other

Jens Stoltenberg
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway said the EU has secured peace and built democracy.

 NATO – The Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, offered the European Union his "warmest congratulations," stating that "the European Union has played a vital role in healing the wounds of history and promoting peace, reconciliation and cooperation across Europe. It has contributed to the advancement of freedom, democracy and human rights across the continent and beyond. From the outset, NATO and the European Union have shared common values and helped shape the new Europe."[31][32]

 Norway – The Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, congratulated the European Union, stating that the EU "has helped to secure peace and build democracy in Europe over many years."[33]

  Switzerland – The President of Switzerland, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, congratulated the EU. A government statement said the prize recognised "the essential role" which the EU has played in the peaceful development of the continent.[34]

 United Nations – The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, lauded the decision in a statement on behalf of the entire United Nations family, and emphasised the European Union's role in helping to build peace, promote human rights and support economic and social development across the world. He called the award "a richly-deserved recognition of its accomplishments and its importance in Europe and around the world."[35][36]

 United States – The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, congratulated the European Union, stating that "certainly it's quite remarkable to see how unified and peaceful Europe is in the 21st century and that did not happen by coincidence. It happened because of the very hard work and dedication of leaders and citizens across Europe."[37]

Public reactions

The prize was mostly positively received by European media, except the British media, and the American media. In editorials, Aftenposten,[38] Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Le Soir, De Standaard, de Volkskrant, La Stampa, Le Figaro, Die Welt, Die Presse and The Financial Times all described the prize as deserved.[39][40][41] The Wall Street Journal described the award as "an inspired decision" and "a reminder there is more to the EU than the euro and that its achievements over 60 years have been remarkable."[42]

Steven Pinker applauded the decision as part of a lecture about The Better Angels of Our Nature, remarking that the assignment of the prize recognized the value of an international community as well as the fact that what had started as an economic union had really had a pacifying effect.[43]

While European leaders greeted the decision, the award tended to be criticized by Eurosceptics[44] including the far-right (such as National Front leader Marine Le Pen[45]) and far-left.[46][47] Nigel Farage, leader of the right-wing UKIP and co-chairman of the anti-EU EFD group within the European Parliament, claimed the decision brought the Nobel Peace Prize "into total disrepute" due to its "insulting" assumption that the EU has prevented conflicts.[48]

In a poll conducted in Norway by ResponsAnalyse for the newspaper Aftenposten, 26% of respondents agreed with the decision to award the European Union the prize, while 37% opposed it and a further 37% had no opinion. The director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad described the results of the poll as "... more positive than he had expected" on the background of the "... negative attitude to the EU" in Norway. Lundestad stated that the award was not about Norwegian membership in the EU, but a "wider perspective".[49]

On 30 November 2012, Nobel Peace Prize winners Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel publicly opposed the awarding of the prize to the European Union. The 1984, 1976 and 1980 laureates stated in an open letter to the Nobel Foundation, based in Sweden, that in their view the EU stood for "... security based on military force and waging wars rather than insisting on the need for an alternative approach" and that "... the Norwegian Nobel Committee has redefined and reshaped the prize in a way that is not in accordance with the law". The International Peace Bureau, which won the prize in 1910, and several peace activists, writers and lawyers also signed the letter. The signatories demanded that the Nobel Foundation stop the payment of the SEK 8 million prize money.[50]

Award ceremony

During the announcement, committee chairman Thorbjørn Jagland was asked whether Helmut Kohl or any of the current EU officials would be present to accept the prize on the EU's behalf. Jagland said the EU will have to decide who would accept the prize.[51]

The EU decided that the prize would be accepted by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. Van Rompuy and Barroso held the acceptance speeches.[52]

Most EU heads of states or governments except six attended the ceremony. French President François Hollande and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel attended. David Cameron and five other EU heads of state have not attended, Cameron sending his deputy Nick Clegg in his stead.[53]

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize for 2012". The Norwegian Nobel Committee. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Nominations for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize". Norwegian Nobel Committee. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  3. ^ Bakken, Laila Ø; Myklebust, Gunnar (27 February 2012). "Manning nominert til fredsprisen" [Manning nominated for the Peace Prize] (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  4. ^ "EurActiv". M.euractiv. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  5. ^ "European Parliament/The President:Schulz on Nobel Peace Prize:This prize is for all EU citizens". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  6. ^ Rfe/Rl (3 October 2012). "EU Awarded Nobel Peace Prize". Rferl. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  7. ^ "President José Manuel Barroso – Nobel Peace Prize 2012 for the European Union". Ec.europa. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d "Reaction as EU wins Peace Prize". Reuters. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  9. ^ ""Fier", Di Rupo rappelle que la Belgique fut fondatrice de l'UE". 7SUR7.be. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  10. ^ europe online publishing house gmbh – europeonline-magazine.eu. "EXTRA: Hollande: Prize commits EU to pursue "more united" Europe". EUROPE ONLINE. Retrieved 12 October 2012.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ Gauck gratuliert EU zu Nobelpreis, Die Welt
  12. ^ "Bundeskanzlerin | Videos" (in German). Bundeskanzlerin.de. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
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  14. ^ "L'essentiel Online – Pour Juncker, "c est une bonne décision"". Lessentie. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
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  16. ^ Det siger de om Nobels fredspris 2012, nordjyske.dk
  17. ^ "Gilmore welcomes EU's Nobel prize". The Irish Times. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
  18. ^ Award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union, fco.gov.uk
  19. ^ http://www.newsbomb.gr/politikh/news/story/260820/to-kampanaki-tis-anergias-stoys-neoys-ekroyse-o-samaras-sto-oslo
  20. ^ "European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize". fox news. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  21. ^ ""Großartige und zukunftsweisende Nachricht": Stimmen: Nobelpreis ist Ehre für alle EU-Bürger". Wienerzeitung.at. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
  22. ^ "Absage an Schwarzseher". Orf.at. 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2014-01-20.
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  25. ^ "VIDEO: Nobelova cena pro EU je tragický omyl, řekl Klaus - iDNES.cz". Zpravy.idnes. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  26. ^ Orbán: Az EU-nak ítélt békedíj egy eszmének kijáró elismerés, inforadio.hu
  27. ^ "Poland congratulates EU, and itself, on Nobel Peace Prize". The News. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  28. ^ "Türk: Nobelova nagrada je šla v prave roke, EU je najuspešnejši mirovni projekt v zgodovini". 24ur.com. 24ur. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Balkan EU hopefuls hail Nobel Prize Archived 15 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, finchannel.com
  30. ^ "Nobel prize catches EU by surprise". Hürriyet Daily News. 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  31. ^ "NATO - News: Prix Nobel de la paix : le secrétaire général de l'OTAN félicite l'Union européenne, 12-Oct.-2012". Nato.int. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  32. ^ "NATO military alliance hails EU Nobel peace award — EUbusiness.com - EU Business News". Eubusiness.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  33. ^ "Stoltenberg: Gratulerer, EU! – Nobels fredspris – NRK Nyheter". Nrk.no. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  34. ^ EU peace prize highlights achievements, swissinfo.ch
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  37. ^ "Clinton congratulates EU on Nobel peace prize - International - World - Ahram Online". English.ahram.org.eg. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
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  39. ^ "Ros for Nobels fredspris i europeisk presse - Utenriks - E24". E24.no. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
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  41. ^ Nobel for EU praised in European, not British, press, AFP
  42. ^ Nobel Prize for EU an Inspired Decision, The Wall Street Journal, 14 October 2012
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  45. ^ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/crisis-ridden-eu-wins-nobel-peace-prize/story-fnbzs1v0-1226494887797
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  47. ^ Steinhauser, Gabriele. "European Union Wins Nobel Peace Prize - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
  48. ^ "BBC News - UKIP's Nigel Farage: 'EU's Nobel Peace Prize baffling'". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
  49. ^ "Norway divided over Peace Prize award". The Norway Post. Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation/Aftenposten. 13 October 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  50. ^ "Desmond Tutu, other Nobel Peace Prize laureates contest 2012 winner choice of EU". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  51. ^ NRK broadcast, 12 October 2012
  52. ^ Benjamin Fox: Barroso and Van Rompuy win battle for Nobel limelight EU Observer, 10 October 2012
  53. ^ [1]
1973 enlargement of the European Communities

The 1973 enlargement of the European Communities was the first enlargement of the European Communities (EC), now the European Union (EU). Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK) acceded to the EC on 1 January 1973. Gibraltar and Greenland also joined the EC as part of the United Kingdom and Denmark respectively, but the Faroe Islands, the British Overseas Territories and the Crown dependencies of the United Kingdom did not join the EC.

Ireland and Denmark both held referenda in 1972 in May and October respectively, and the UK held a referendum in 1975, on membership of the EC, all which approved membership of the EC. Norway planned to accede, but this was rejected in a referendum held in September 1972. Norway later reapplied to join, but voters again rejected the proposal in a 1994 referendum.

Greenland later withdrew from the EC on 1 January 1985 after a referendum in 1982. This was followed by the UK holding a referendum in 2016 on membership which resulted in the United Kingdom voting to leave the now EU.

1981 enlargement of the European Communities

The 1981 enlargement of the European Communities was the second enlargement of what is now the European Union, then the European Communities (EC). Greece acceded to the EEC on 1 January 1981. It is considered a part of the Mediterranean enlargement.

1986 enlargement of the European Communities

The 1986 enlargement of the European Communities was the third enlargement of what is now the European Union, then the European Communities (EC). Spain and Portugal acceded to the EC on 1 January 1986. It is considered a part of the Mediterranean enlargement.

1995 enlargement of the European Union

The 1995 enlargement of the European Union saw Austria, Finland, and Sweden accede to the European Union (EU). This was the EU's fourth enlargement and came into effect on 1 January of that year. All these states were previous members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and had traditionally been less interested in joining the EU than other European countries. Norway had negotiated to join alongside the other three but following the signing of the treaty, membership was turned down by the Norwegian electorate in the 1994 national referendum. Switzerland also applied for membership on 26 May 1992, but withdrew it after a negative referendum result on 6 December 1992 (and that was not changed after a second negative referendum result on 4 March 2001).

2007 enlargement of the European Union

The 2007 enlargement of the European Union saw Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union (EU) on 1 January 2007. Together with the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, it is considered part of the fifth wave of enlargement of the European Union.

2013 Nobel Peace Prize

The 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for their "extensive work to eliminate chemical weapons". The award citation indicated the organization was awarded the prize, because they “have defined the use of chemical weapons as taboo under international law. Recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons.” The committee criticized Russia and the United States for not meeting the extended deadline for destruction of its chemical weapons, and noted that certain countries "are still not members". The OPCW was the 22nd organization to be awarded the prize.

Eurojust

Eurojust is an agency of the European Union (EU) dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal matters among agencies of the member states. It is seated in The Hague, Netherlands. Established in 2002, it was created to improve handling of serious cross-border and organised crime by stimulating investigative and prosecutorial co-ordination.

Eurojust is composed of a college formed of 28 national members—experienced judges, prosecutors, or police officers of equivalent competence from each EU member state. The terms and duties of the members are defined by the state that appoints them. Eurojust also co-operates with third states and other EU bodies such as the European Judicial Network, Europol and the OLAF.

European Court of Auditors

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) (French: Cour des comptes européenne) is the fifth institution of the European Union (EU). It was established in 1975 in Luxembourg.

European Party for Individual Liberty

The European Party for Individual Liberty (EPIL) is a libertarian European political party established in Utrecht in September 2013 by The Utrecht Declaration and Covenant of European Classical Liberal and Libertarian Parties.

European Union laissez-passer

A European Union laissez-passer is a travel document issued to civil servants and members of the institutions of the European Union. It is proof of privileges and immunities the holders enjoy. The document is valid in all countries of the European Union as well as in over 100 other countries. In 2006, the European Commission issued or renewed 2,200 laissez-passer, and other agencies may issue the document as well.The present regulation was proposed by the European Commission implementing machine-readable laissez-passer according to ICAO 9303 standard including a digitized photo of the bearer's face and fingerprints. The fields are reduced and no longer contain information on address and physical appearance.

Gerard Butler

Gerard James Butler (born 13 November 1969) is a Scottish actor, producer, singer and musician.

After studying law, Butler turned to acting in the mid-1990s with small roles in productions such as Mrs Brown (1997), the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and Tale of the Mummy (1998). In 2000, he starred as Dracula in the horror film Dracula 2000 with Christopher Plummer and Jonny Lee Miller.

He subsequently played Attila the Hun in the miniseries Attila (2001) and then appeared in the films Reign of Fire with Christian Bale (2002) and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life with Angelina Jolie (2003), before playing André Marek in the adaptation of Michael Crichton's science fiction adventure Timeline (2003). He then was cast as the role of Erik, The Phantom in Joel Schumacher's 2004 film adaptation of the musical The Phantom of the Opera alongside Emmy Rossum. That role earned him a Satellite Award nomination for Best Actor.

Although Attila and The Phantom of the Opera were important breaks, it was only in 2007 that Butler gained worldwide recognition for his portrayal of King Leonidas in Zack Snyder's fantasy war film 300. That role earned him nominations for an Empire Award for Best Actor and a Saturn Award for Best Actor and a win for MTV Movie Award for Best Fight. In the 2010s, he voiced the role of Stoick the Vast in the animated action-fantasy film How to Train Your Dragon, a role he later reprised in Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010), Gift of the Night Fury (2011), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014), and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019). He played military leader Tullus Aufidius in the 2011 film Coriolanus, a modernized adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name. He also played Sam Childers in the 2011 action biopic Machine Gun Preacher.

Human rights in Liberia

Human rights in Liberia became a focus of international attention when the country's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was named one of the three female co-winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, all of whom were cited "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work".Yet, as the Guardian noted in October 2012, "the award to President Sirleaf was not unanimously welcomed in her own country", and a year after the prize was announced, one of Sirleaf's co-winners, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, articulated the views of many of Sirleaf's critics, charging the president with nepotism, among other offenses, and citing the high government positions held by Sirleaf's three sons. In November 2012, a Liberian human-rights lawyer, Tiawan Saye Gongloe, also criticized Sirleaf's nepotism and called on her to resign.Both nepotism and corruption are widespread in Liberia. Among the country's other very serious human-rights problems are ritualistic killings, police abuse, incidents of so-called "trial by ordeal", arbitrary arrest, the denial of due process, violence against women, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, child abuse, human trafficking, and child labor. Since the end of the Civil War in 2003, however, there has been a great deal of activity by a number of international organizations with the objective of establishing in Liberia a solid democracy based on human rights.Liberia is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

International organisations in Europe

The following table lists the independent European states, and their memberships in selected organisations and treaties.

Juncker Commission

The Juncker Commission is the European Commission in office since 1 November 2014 and is due to serve until 2019. Its president is Jean-Claude Juncker, who presides over 27 other commissioners (one from each of the states composing the European Union, except Luxembourg, which is Juncker's state). In July 2014, Juncker was officially elected to succeed José Manuel Barroso, who completed his second five-year term in that year.

Lenín Moreno

Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés (Spanish pronunciation: [leˈnim bolˈtai̯ɾe moˈɾeno ɣaɾˈses]; born 19 March 1953) is an Ecuadorian politician who is the President of Ecuador, in office since 2017. He was Vice President from 2007 to 2013, serving under President Rafael Correa.

He was nominated as the candidate for Correa's center-left PAIS Alliance in the 2017 presidential election and won a narrow victory in Ecuador's second round of voting on 2 April 2017.Moreno was shot in 1998 in a robbery attempt and thereafter has used a wheelchair. For his advocacy for people with disabilities, he was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. When he assumed office on 24 May 2017, Moreno became the world’s only currently serving head of state to use a wheelchair.

Maggie Gobran

Maggie Gobran or Mama Maggie, a Coptic Orthodox lady, is the founder and CEO of the non-profit charity Stephen's Children in Cairo, Egypt. She was also professor of computer science at the American University in Cairo, is married and has a son and a daughter. She was nominated to the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.Maggie Gobran, often referred to as the Mother Teresa of Cairo, is a Coptic Christian lady who once lived an affluent lifestyle sheltered from the poverty and misery, but who nevertheless experienced persecution as a Christian in Egypt. In 1989, she gave up her academic career to become a Coptic Orthodox Christian consecrated servant and set up the charity Stephen's Children, whose aim is improving the lives of the children of Christians and families living in Cairo's slum quarters and impoverished communities in rural Upper Egypt. She also offers help to impoverished Muslim and Bahá'í children.

Pax Europaea

Pax Europaea (English: the European peace – after the historical Pax Romana), is the period of relative peace experienced by Europe in the period following World War II—often associated above all with the creation of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors. After the Cold War this peace was even more evident because of the fall in political tensions, with the major exception of the Yugoslav Wars and various tensions with and within Russia. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Political foundation at European level

A European political foundation, formally a political foundation at European level, informally a Eurofoundation, is a research and advocacy organization close to, but independent from a Europarty. They are funded by the European Parliament. Their purpose is to act as platforms aiming at developing forward-looking ideas and concepts for their respective political family and providing a forum where those ideas can be widely debated. There are nine Eurofoundations as of 16 March 2009.

Susana Trimarco

Sara Susana del Valle Trimarco de Veron, or Susana Trimarco (born 1954), is an Argentinian human rights activist, whose efforts to combat human trafficking and corruption have been recognized internationally. After the 2002 disappearance of her daughter, who is believed to have been kidnapped by a human trafficking network, she spent years searching for her daughter, and started a foundation to support victims of sex trafficking. Her lobbying is credited as bringing corruption and government impunity to the fore in Argentina, a discussion which led to a 2011 law banning the advertisement of sexual services in newspapers and magazines.

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