2012 – The European Union. The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in recognition of over six decades of the European Union’s contributions to the process of advancing peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe. Awarding the Peace Prize to an institution, an organisation haunted by the economic crisis and accused of excessive bureaucracy and ineptitude, raised significant controversy.

The European Union is the successor of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) created in 1951 by six countries: Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. On 25 March 1957 in Rome, these same countries signed the treaties establishing the...

2011 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (born 1938), President of Liberia, Leymah Gbowee (born 1972), Liberian social activist, and Tawakkul Karman (born 1979) Yemeni journalist. These three laureates were distinguished for their non-violent struggles for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf holds a Harvard degree in public administration. She spent more than a year in prison during the 1980-1990 dictatorship rule of General Samuel Doe. Ms Sirleaf was Liberia’s finance minister, worked at the World Bank and served as Vice President...

2010 – Liu Xiaobo (born in 1955)

Liu Xiaobo was born on the 28th of December 1955. As a young man he studied literature and philosophy, and worked as a literary critic and university lecturer in Beijing. He took a doctorate in 1988, after which he was a guest lecturer at universities in Europe and...