Conference Dispute over Europe,
2 May 2014 and 7 November 2014

TAKE A CHANCE WITH MORE EUROPE – THE EU NEEDS DEDICATED CITIZENS!

This is the leading theme of the inaugural congress »Dispute over Europe« to be held on the 2nd of May, 2014 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. In times when Europe is virtually absent from national political agendas, when problems ahead are discussed by political leaders behind closed doors, and when a growing number of populist parties gain influence on public opinion, we need to give Europe, and all its controversies, a new space. The doubts and objections of the citizens deserve hearing and should not be left to the populists or to the exclusivity of administrative elites. The objective of the congress is hence to establish a culture of disputing the problems and potentials of Europe today – in public, with citizens, intellectuals, and politicians, and in collaboration with a network of likeminded initiatives. We are convinced that appeasement and evocation do not help Europe get any further. What we need is an open and public discourse.

The congress will be continued on November 7, 2014 – focusing on the results of the European Parliament elections.

The project of Václav Havel European Dialogues will be presented at the inaugural event (2nd of May, 2014 at Haus der Kulturen der Welt) by Jan Macháček, the chairman of the Board of trustees of the Václav Havel Library. At the conference on November 7, 2014, the Václav Havel Library will be represented by Jacques Rupnik, member of Board of Trustees. 

Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„If I consider the problem as that which the world is turning me into – that is, as a tiny screw in a giant machine, deprived of human identity – then there is really nothing I can do. Obviously I cannot put a stop to the destruction of the globe, the growing stupidity of nations and the repoduction of thousands of new thermonuclear bombs. If, however, I consider it as that which each of us originally is, or rahter what each of us – irrespective of the state of the world – has the basic potential to become, which is to say an autonomous human being, capable of acting responsibly to and for the world, then of course there is a great deal I can do.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, March 6, 1982

Ivan Krastev: Europe's FutureVáclav Havel’s Prague