OSLO, Norway, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Critics of the European Union expressed bewilderment that the bloc won the Nobel Peace Prize, though supporters praised its role in regional peace.
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said the announcement Friday was a great honor for the bloc.
"The values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the respect for human rights are absolutely fundamental to the European Union," Schulz said in a statement. "These fundamental values underpin all of the European Union's activities both internally and in our external policies."
Following two world wars that divided much of Europe and the world, the Nobel committee said it awarded the European Union with the prize for its unifying role during the last six decades.
The International Crisis Group, a conflict watchdog that has its headquarters in Brussels, said the European Union has showed great leadership despite "tremendous day-to-day strain."
"The EU has been above all else one of the greatest conflict resolution mechanisms ever devised," the organization said in a statement.
The BBC reports that praise wasn't universal, however. The Nobel committee mentioned the European debt crisis but not failed diplomatic efforts over the course of its history since its development after World War II.