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

„Once you’re here, however, whether you want to or not, you have to ask the question: does all of this have a meaning, and if so, what?… Ultimately, I can only find an answer – a positive answer – within myself, in my general faith in the meaning of things, in my hope. What, in fact, is man responsible to? What does he relate to? What is the final horizon of his actions, the absolute vanishing point of everything he does, the undeceivable “memory of Being”, the conscience of the world and the final “court of appeal”? What is the decisive standard of measurement, the background or the field of each of his existential experiences? And likewise, what is the most important witness or the secret sharer in his daily conversations with himself, the thing that – regardless of what situation he has been thrown into – he incessantly inquires after, depends upon, and toward which his actions are directed, the thing that, in its omniscience and incorruptibility, both haunts and saves him, the only thing he can trust in and strive for? “

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, August 7, 1980

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