PARIS (Reuters) - Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, one of the leading architects of European integration, hailed on Friday the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.
“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,” he told Reuters in a statement.
The committee praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War Two and for its role in spreading stability to former communist countries after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
The conservative Giscard d’Estaing, who led France from 1974 to 1981, went on to preside the convention that drafted a proposed constitution for the EU, a text that never came into force after it was rejected in French and Dutch referendums.
Reporting by Yves Clarisse; writing by Mark John and John Irish