The European Union has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for six decades of work in advancing peace in Europe.
The committee said the EU had helped to transform Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.
The award comes as the EU faces the biggest financial crisis of its 54-year history, with many of its member states mired in recession.
The last organization to be given the award outright was Medecins Sans Frontieres, which won in 1999.
Announcing the award, Nobel committee president Thorbjoern Jagland acknowledged the EU’s current financial problems and social unrest.
But he said the committee wanted to concentrate on the body’s work over six decades of advancing “peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights”.
Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said he was “deeply touched and honored” with the award.