President Klaus: Nobel Peace Prize for EU "tragic error"

Czech President Václav Klaus considers the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize for the European Union "a tragic error". Mr Klaus, who first did not take the news of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision serisouly, told reporters later on Friday the Nobel Peace Prize had a meaning when awarded to an individual for their unique actions; however, it turned into an "empty award" when handed to a bureaucratic insititution, the Czech president added.

For his part, the Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, welcomed the Nobel Peace Prize for the EU as the right decision. However, Mr Schwarzenberg also said that he would have personally preferred to see the prize go to an individual.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said the European Union deserved the award for its role in advancing peace in Europe. According the committee, the EU helped to transform Europe "from a continent of war to a continent of peace".

Author: Jan Richter