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In Conversation With... Bert Koenders

  • Kde: Knihovna Václava Havla, Ostrovní 13, Praha 110 00
  • Kdy: 18. březen 2024, 19:00 – 21:00

A discussion on the enduring legacy of Max van der Stoel and the pivotal role of dissidents in shaping democracy in the 21st century. Max van der Stoel's historic meeting with Jan Patočka, the philosopher and spokesperson for Charter 77, marked a significant milestone in the struggle for human rights and political freedoms. As the first Western minister to engage with Charter 77, van der Stoel's courageous act paved the way for international recognition of dissident movements. Against the backdrop of this historic encounter, esteemed speaker Bert Koenders, Chair of the Max van der Stoel Foundation and former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, will lead a conversation on the challenges and opportunities facing democracy today together with professor emeritus at the University of Fribourg Filip Karfík. Professor Karfík studied philosophy in a private circle of Jan Patočka’s students, classical philology studied in Prague and Vienna (1985-1991), postgraduate studies in Paris, Eichstätt and Munich (1992-1993), PhD in philosophy obtained at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague (1996), habilitation achieved in philosophy (2004).

The event will explore the impact of dissidents on contemporary political discourse, while reflecting on the lessons learned from Van der Stoel and Patočka's courageous actions. As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union and navigate a pivotal election year for the European Parliament, this event offers a timely reflection on the enduring importance of democratic values and human rights.
 Ian Willoughby will discuss with guests. 
The evening is organised with the kind support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic.

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