OSLO, Norway (AP) - American actress Sarah Jessica Parker praised the EU on Tuesday for winning the Nobel Peace Prize for pacifying Europe and uniting its different cultures after World War II, and she said the bloc should serve as an example to the United States, given the divisions its recent elections have brought to the surface.
Parker said that while it might be controversial to have awarded the 27-nation EU the prestigious award as it struggles with a financial crisis that is causing hardship to many, it is "a terrific blueprint for us," and one the U.S. should learn from.
"I don't know how we can't," she said in an interview before the Nobel Concert she is hosting with Scottish actor Gerard Butler. "It is also a story that we are trying to tell in our country. We are trying to say to one another: We are different. We are a divided nation, but our goals in many ways are the same.
"We have had two elections that have been really painful for our country."
Not everyone approved the decision to give the prize to the EU, which was created 60 years ago as Europe was struggling to recover from a war that killed millions of people. Three Peace Prize laureates - South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland and Adolfo Perez Esquivel from Argentina - said the bloc should not receive the $1.2 million in Peace Prize money because it relies on military force to ensure security.
Parker, known from the television comedy-drama "Sex and the City," said her parents were peace activists and she remembers attending anti-war rallies at an early age. She said visiting Oslo held a special significance for her since she wanted to see the table around which the decisions are made on awarding the Peace Prize.
Parker said that the EU had helped solve "incredibly complicated old problems and if they can find a way to be a community ... that is an ideal. It is what I want for us."
Butler, who worked as a lawyer before becoming an actor, said he lived much of his early life in Scotland, "which has had a very tragic history fighting against England for thousands of years."
"Now we live in a time when this isn't happening, and I think as a Scotsman, as a European, it makes me very proud to be part of this process," he said.
The evening's artists, performing at Oslo's Spektrum Hall, include U.S. singer Jennifer Hudson, Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, American R&B artist Ne-Yo, and British soul singer Seal.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)