OSLO - The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for its long-term role in uniting the continent, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Friday, an award seen as morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis.

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.

Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said an hour before the announcement that the EU would win.

The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on Dec. 10.

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