Oct. 12 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the European Union winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a ''wonderful decision'' and ''a personal incentive and duty,'' despite criticism of the committee's decision. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Awarding the European Union the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize is "a wonderful decision," says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Six decades of peace in Europe is a long time for us who live in the European Union, yet in history, it's only a blink of an eye. That's why we must never forget that in order to keep this peace, democracy and freedom, we have to work hard over and over again." The leader of Europe's largest economy added that the award was also "a personal incentive and a duty at the same time." But some are not convinced. Russian Peace Prize nominees and human rights campaigners Lyudmila Alexeyeva and Svetlana Gannushkina criticised the decision after hearing it broadcast on television. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER AND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE NOMINEE LYUDMILA ALEXEYEVA, SAYING: "The European Union is certainly a very respected, needed and useful organisation, but I don't understand how the prize can be awarded to such a big organisation. To me, the prize should be given not to state activity, but to citizens or public organisations." Both women thought the prize would have had more impact if given to an individual or smaller organisation working for human rights. The committee received 231 nominations this year, including 43 organizations.