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. 

Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington

„We are still a long way from that „family of man;“ in fact, we seem to be receding from the ideal rather than drawing closer to it. Interests of all kinds: personal, selfish, state, national, group and, if you like, company interests still considerably outweigh genuinely common and global interests. We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation, and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted. There are still many who say they are concerdend not for themselves but for the cause, while they are demonstrably out for themselves and not for the cause at all. We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us, and its environment. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic and cultural conflicts in the world. From time to time we say that the anonymous megamachinery we have created for ourselves no longer serves us but rather has enslaved us, yet we still fail to do anything about it.“

Václav Havel:
Speech to Joint Session of the United States Congress, Washington, February 21, 1990

Just Because I AmPavel Juráček: From the Life of a Buffoon