The European Union has come in for a lot of stick for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, as southern European countries are declared near bankrupt, riots rage, the euro falters and more cash is demanded of the UK from the EU budget.

The expansion of the EU has sparked fears Britain will no longer be able to cope with EU immigrants, and the Tories look set to announce a referendum which could drastically change Britain's relationship with the union.

In 2011, a Guardian/ICM poll showed 49% would vote for UK withdrawal, and some 70% of voters want a vote on Britain's EU membership.

The EU won't be winning the Nobel Prize for Economics any time soon.

But as the crisis rages, the Nobel Prize draws attention to one of the EU's other major raison d'etres - security and peace between European nations, nations which have traditionally had long and bloody histories of conflict, conquest and rivalry.

So, perhaps controversially, here's five reasons the EU deserved its peace prize.

France, Germany and the UK are getting along just fine

france

France, UK and Germany are allies after centuries of conflict

Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland argued that European unification has transformed Europe “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace”

The English have been fighting the French since 1066 and the Norman Conquest, and involved in at least one war per century until the early 1800s. As part of the Holy Roman Empire, German states fought wars with England and France, and were occupied in the Napoleonic Wars.

The First and Second World Wars were two of the bloodiest conflicts in world history. But since the end of the war, and as economic co-operation deepened between the three, partly as a result of the EU, Europe's three bitter rivals have become closest allies, and bastions of freedom and prosperity (compared to elsewhere in the world).

Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations sums it up.

"You go to Europe today and you drive across the Franco-German border, and there are no soldiers, no border patrols, you don't even change money. And that's a miracle in some way."

Democracy in former fascist states

mussolini

Italy's Benito Mussolini walks in the rain during the 2,698th anniversary of the birth of Rome

Spain, Portugal and Italy were all ruled by fascist dictators. In Spain under General Franco, around 200,000 people died from 1940–42, killed in uprisings, starving or diseased.

In Italy, Benito Mussolini became Adolf Hitler's most important ally, purging the country of any opposition, rounding up opponents, Jews and gypsies and sending them to concentration camps.

Democracy has flourished in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy since the fall of fascism and creation of the European Union, as prosperity increased.

It's an achievement of the EU thus far, but many commentators have expressed concern that may not last post-economic crisis.

The democratic transformation of Eastern Europe, post-Cold War

poland

Poland has seen dramatic economic development

As the European Union accepts new members, it has meant countries who wish to join must "guarantee democracy, the rule of law, human rights, respect for and protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union."

All the Soviet states joining the EU have had to meet the criteria, which has led to particular prosperity, growth and freedom in countries like Poland, although growth has slowed considerably as economic crises rage in southern Europe.

You don't need a passport to go from Paris to Amsterdam, or a visa to move to Rome

italy

You can live in an Italian vineyard, and no-one will check your visa

EU migrants are the cause of much consternation at home, but one of the benefits of the European Union has meant travel across the continent is a breeze, and something taken for granted here, compared to elsewhere in the world.

You can up-sticks and move to that Paris apartment, study art in Florence or retire to a Spanish villa without any special permission, as long as you can afford it.

In the Middle East, there are walls built between Israel and Palestine, troops line the Chinese- Indian border, the border between Algeria and Morocco remains locked. It's even a pain to get into the US.

In a world where territorial conflicts still rage, Europe feels like a haven of tranquility... comparatively.

The European Convention on Human Rights

protest

You are guaranteed the right to protest against the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU

OK, so the European Court of Human Rights means we have to keep Abu Qatada in the country, for now. And, strictly, it's the remit of the Council of Europe, which is a separate body but closely linked to the EU.

But, long-term, the European Convention of Human Rights has meant states have to guarantee freedom of speech, expression, freedom of religion, ban capital punishment and give everyone a fair trial.

For a continent with a history of human rights abuses, from slavery to the Holocaust, ensuring certain freedoms has been key to maintaining peace.

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  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    (1st row LtoR) King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, Princess Victoria of Sweden, (2drow LtoR) Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden sing the national anthem at the start of the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    King Harald V of Norway (R) congratulates President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (L) as European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy and President (up L) of the European Parliament Martin Schulz (up C) look at the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    (L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande talk with Belgian prime minister Elio Di Rupo (up L) and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE-EU

    (L-R) Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande talk as they attend the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony at the Oslo City Hall in Oslo, Norway, on December 10, 2012. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CORNELIUS POPPE (Photo credit should read CORNELIUS POPPE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Princess Mette-Marit Of Norway Attends The Save The Children's Peace Prize Festival

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Nobel laureates Jose Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy, Martin Schultz and Princess Mette-Marit of Norway attend the Save the Children's Peace Prize Festival at Nobel Peace Centre on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    (L-R) Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande are applauded at the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    (L-R) President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso (L) and European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy react at the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany smiles at The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Nigel Waldron/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    Nobel Physics laureates Shinya Yamanaka (C) of Japan and John B Gurdon of England (L) arrive on stage on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, during the Nobel prize awarding ceremony. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Princess Mette-Marit Of Norway Attends The Save The Children's Peace Prize Festival

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Nobel laureate Jose Barroso attends the Save the Children's Peace Prize Festival at Nobel Peace Centre on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The 2012 Nobel Chemistry Prizewinner Brian K Kobilka (L) is seen during the Nobel prize awarding ceremony on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Princess Mette-Marit Of Norway Attends The Save The Children's Peace Prize Festival

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) Nobel laureates Jose Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Martin Schultz attend the Save the Children's Peace Prize Festival at Nobel Peace Centre on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The 2012 Nobel Literature Prizewinner Mo Yan of China (R) shakes hands as Nobel Physics laureates Shinya Yamanaka (C) of Japan and John B Gurdon of England walk on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, during the Nobel prize awarding ceremony. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Princess Mette-Marit Of Norway Attends The Save The Children's Peace Prize Festival

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Nobel laureates Jose Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Martin Schultz attend the Save the Children's Peace Prize Festival at Nobel Peace Centre on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The 2012 Nobel Physics Prizewinner David J Wineland is seen during the Nobel prize awarding ceremony on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: French President Francois Hollande attends a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The Swedish Royal family with (L-R) Queen Silvia, King Carl Gustaf, Princess Madeleine, Crown Princess Victoria, Price Carl Philip and Prince Daniel attend the Nobel Prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics will be given their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Princess Mette-Marit Of Norway Attends The Save The Children's Peace Prize Festival

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) Nobel laureates Jose Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Martin Schultz attend the Save the Children's Peace Prize Festival at Nobel Peace Centre on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (C) shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande after a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Prize Ceremony - Stockholm

    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - DECEMBER 10: General view of the Concert Hall at the start of the Nobel Prize Ceremony on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: French President Francois Hollande leaves after a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The Swedish Royal family with (L-R) Queen Silvia, King Carl Gustaf, Princess Madeleine, Crown Princess Victoria, Price Carl Philip and Prince Daniel attend the Nobel Prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics will be given their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    Nobel Physics laureates John B Gurdon of England (L), Shinya Yamanaka (C) of Japan and the 2012 Nobel Literature Prize winner Mo Yan of China (R) attend the Nobel prize awarding ceremony on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    (1st row LtoR) King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, Princess Victoria of Sweden, (2drow LtoR) Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden attend the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) arrives for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: (L-R 1st row ) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Romanian President Traian Basescu, Norway's Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, French President Francois Hollande (2nd row L-R) Portugal's Prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho, Danish Prime minister Mark Rutte, Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Polish Prime minister Donald Tusk, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, Irish prime minister Enda Kenny, Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Smith (3rd row L-R) Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, deputy minister to the President for European Affairs of Cyprus Andreas Mavroyiannis pose for a picture prior to a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The medal of Alfred Nobel and Swedish flags are seen prior to the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX-SWEDEN / HENRIK MONTGOMERY / SWEDEN OUT (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    Nobel Prize winners attend the awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics will be given their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Danish Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Smith (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy look at the menu prior as they sit with other guests for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The Swedish Royal family with (L-R) Queen Silvia, Princess Madeleine, King Carl Gustaf, Prince Carl Philip, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel attend the Nobel Prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics will be given their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / JONAS EKSTROMER / SCANPIX SWEDEN / SWEDEN OUT (Photo credit should read JONAS EKSTROMER/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: European Union (EU) President Herman Van Rompuy (C-L) and Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk (C-R) talk as they arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Prize Ceremony - Stockholm

    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - DECEMBER 10: King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (C) and Queen Silvia of Sweden(R) arrive on the stage to attend the 2012 Nobel Prize Award Ceremony at Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    (1st row LtoR) King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, Princess Victoria of Sweden, (2drow LtoR) Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden sing the national anthem at the start of the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    (1st row LtoR) King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, Princess Victoria of Sweden, (2drow LtoR) Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Prince Carl Philip of Sweden attend the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (L) talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    Queen Silvia of Sweden (2dL) and King Carl Gustaf of Sweden (L), Princess Victoria of Sweden (R) and Princess Madeleine of Sweden (2d row R) sing the national anthem at the start of the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Danish Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Smith (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (L) looks away as Danish Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Smith (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Danish Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Smith (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: Danish Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Smith (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    French President Francois Hollande (back) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel leave hands as EU leaders applaud at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012 prior to the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / CORNELIUS POPPE /SCANPIX NORWAY (Photo credit should read CORNELIUS POPPE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Princess Mette-Marit Of Norway Attends The Save The Children's Peace Prize Festival

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: A general view outside Nobel Peace Centre ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to The European Union (EU) at Nobel Peace Centre on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso pose for a picture before a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    Nobel Prize winners attend the awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics will be given their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    Queen Silvia of Sweeden and King Carl Gustaf of Sweeden attend the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    A medal of Alfred Nobel and Swedish flags are seen prior to the Nobel prize awarding ceremony at the Stockholm Concert Hall on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX-SWEDEN / HENRIK MONTGOMERY / SWEDEN OUT (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SWEDEN-NOBEL-PRIZE

    The 2012 Nobel Literature Prizewinner Mo Yan of China (L) is pictured on December 10, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden, prior to the Nobel prize awarding ceremony. The winners of the Nobel Prize 2012 in the categories of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics receive their awards from the hands of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony, followed by a gala banquet. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    French President Francois Hollande (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel leave hands as EU leaders applaud at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012 prior to the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP/AFP/JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • NORWAY-NOBEL-PEACE-PRIZE

    French President Francois Hollande (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel leave hands as EU leaders applaud at the City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2012 prior to the Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremony. The EU collects this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, with the bloc battered and divided by a three-year economic crisis threatening the continent's social stability. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL AFP/AFP/JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Nobel Peace Prize Concert - Oslo

    OSLO, NORWAY - DECEMBER 10: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Romanian President Traian Basescu (R) arrive for a working luncheon at the Gamle Logen hosted by Norway's Prime Minister for the EU leaders while they attend the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at Oslo City Hall on December 10, 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The European Union is collecting this year's prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for uniting the continent after two World Wars especially while during economic crisis. (Photo by Daniel Sannum-Lauten-Pool/Getty Images)