Lessons in democracy since 1989:
A source of Inspiration for Ukraine and Tunisia? Václav Havel European Dialogue Conference

  • Organisers: Czech Centre Brussels, European Partnership for Democracy, Václav Havel Library, Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU
  • Venue: Room A1G-3, European Parliament, Brussels
  • Date13th November 2014, 12:30 - 16:15

This year the Czech Republic, together with nine other EU Member States, celebrates 10 years of EU membership. This decade was preceded by many years of preparation to the accession, which transformed the countries and fostered their democratic transitions. This experience is often called “the return to Europe” and warrants sharing in a context of the numerous democratic transitions in the EU neighbourhood.

The objective of this second edition conference commemorating Václav Havel’s work is to examine what the EU means to neighbouring countries in terms of democratic development. Inspired by the 2013 edition, this event will be an opportunity to look at two concrete examples of countries currently in transition, Ukraine and Tunisia, each of which held crucial elections on the 26th October 2014.

Each panel will be introduced by a member of the European Parliament and representatives from civil society who will share their thoughts on the experience of democratic transition. This will pave the way for a discussion on how to take advantage of these often hard-learned lessons and offer the support of democratic transitions in other countries and thus carry on Václav Havel´s vision and legacy. Panellists for both countries will also share their experience of observing recent elections.

A Word about Words – samizdat essay

„The point I am trying to make is that words are a mysterious, ambiguous, ambivalent and perfidious phenomenon. They can be rays of light in a realm of darkness, as Belinsky once described Ostrovsky’s Storm. They can also be lethal arrows. Worst or all, at times they can be one or the other. They can even be both at once!“

Václav Havel:
A Word about Words – samizdat essay, July 25, 1989

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