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Václav Havel European Dialogues: The truth of politics and the politics of truth, Brno 
12/05/22 18:00 – 12/05/22 20:00, Univerzitní kino Scala, Moravské nám. 127, Brno

Truth is often among politicians’ declared values, though it rarely appears in policy programmes and other documents of political practice. It frequently falls victim to electoral tactics, the courting of popularity and both domestic and international diplomatic considerations. But how great can the tension between politics and reality become before citizens lose trust in their representatives or, even worse, democracy itself? This problem is all the more complicated in the European Union, occurring not just at national but at union level, where domestic politicians, with an eye to ratings, like to shunt it.


Václav Havel European Dialogues: Information and democracy, Prague 
10/05/22 18:00 – 10/05/22 20:00, Modrá posluchárna, Univerzita Karlova, Celetná 20, Praha 1

Never in history has so much information spread in such a short time among so many people. But it still feels like getting to the truth has never been so difficult. Alongside factual information, there is a vast amount of inaccuracies, false information, myths and deliberate untruths out there. For many people it is hard, if not impossible, to distinguish in this mess between that which is true or likely and that which is untrue and false. But can a state assume the role of guardian of the truth without irreparably violating civil rights and freedoms? What role should the EU play in this area? And in what kind of cases may it do so? Should classic and digital media bear responsibility for the veracity of the information they spread? Or is intensive, long-term education in neglected fields, such as logic, cognitive thinking and the philosophy of science, the only answer?


Václav Havel European Dialogues: Is truth a thing of the past?, Plzeň 
10/05/22 14:00 – 10/05/22 16:00, Aula Fakulty pedagogické ZČU, Veleslavínova 42, Plzeň

The increasingly thorny path to the truth is leading many, including a lot of thinkers, to conclude that the problem isn’t getting to the truth but truth itself. But can we do without the truth in a post-factual world, and what would the truth look like in such a world? And what would democracy look like if a politician's credibility were judged according to different criteria than the ability to objectively assess and communicate truthfully about the problems facing society? Without correlation to the realities of the natural world around us the truth becomes at best the truth of the majority, at worst the truth of the strongest. Can Europe get by without truth?


International conference in honour of the laureate of the 2021 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 
29/09/21 12:30 – 29/09/21 18:00, Prague Crossroads, Zlatá 1, Prague

The Covid Dilemma: Rights against Responsibilities

(with a special event on the human rights crisis in Afghanistan)


From April to the Velvet Revolution 
20/04/21 18:00 – 20/04/21 20:20, on-line

The fight goes on and lessons learned in Portugal and in Czechoslovakia as an inspiration for future transformation


International conference in honour of the laureate of the 2020 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 
19/04/21 12:30 – 19/04/21 14:30, on-line

  • Where:
  • When: April 19, 2021, 13:00 –14:30
  • Organizers: Knihovna Václava Havla, Nadace Charty 77
  • Partners: Forum 2000, Parlamentního shromáždění Rady Evropy

At first glance it might appear that the pandemic does not discriminate, impacting all equally. However, the struggle against the coronavirus should not obscure the urgency of the struggle for human rights, and should in no way provide a pretext or excuse for their breach. Tyrannical regimes may attempt to capitalise on, and hide behind, the period of crisis. Last year served as a warning in that respect. We need to keep a close eye on the severe crackdown on human rights in Hong Kong, the continued oppression of the Uyghurs, the Myanmar regime’s brutal pogroms against people demonstrating for democracy and the metastasis of Islamic State terror in some African states.


The Vaclav Havel European Dialogues: The EU between Yesterday and Tomorrow 
20/05/19 12:30 – 20/05/19 20:00, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art

In the year of the 15th anniversary of the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU, and just four days before key elections to the European Parliament, we will evaluate together the Czech Republic in the European Union and the European Union in the Czech Republic, while at the same time looking to the future, mainly through the eyes of the young people whose lives will be influenced by the EU.


Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2018 
10/10/18 12:30 – 10/10/18 19:30, Prague Crossroads, Zlatá 1, Prague

The sixth edition of the international conference in honour of the winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which is bestowed by the Václav Havel Library, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Charter 77 Foundation.


Václav Havel European Dialogues: The Czech Republic at the European Crossroads 
14/05/18 10:00 – 14/05/18 17:00, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art

What has 14 years of membership of the European Union brought us? What advantages have we enjoyed thanks to it? Or have we, by contrast, lost something? Why is there increasing scepticism about the EU? Are there perhaps other alternatives? What does the EU represent for the future of our country? And what do we represent for its future? These and similar questions will be explored in the fifth edition of the Václav Havel European Dialogues. For registration please fill out our form.


What Price Human Rights? 
11/10/17 09:00 – 11/10/17 17:00, Prague Crossroads, Zlatá 1, Prague

In democratic societies, there exists a fundamental consensus about the importance of human rights and adherence to human rights standards. This consensus, however, begins to falter when specific human rights are found to be in an apparent or genuine conflict with other important human sights, such as security, prosperity or the majority principle in a democracy.

The upcoming 5th international Václav Havel Human Rights Prize Conference, which is awarded by the Václav Havel Library in Prague together with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Charta 77 Foundation aims to discuss these conflicts and their resolution. Its three panels dedicated to human rights and security, human rights and prosperity, and human rights and democracy will offer the floor to leading Czech and international experts, activists and politicians. The audience can also look forward to a special appearance of one of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.


Václav Havel European Dialogues: Where Does Europe Begin and End? 
15/05/17 09:00 – 15/05/17 17:00, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that initiates and helms discussions on issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel. The conference’s one-day format creates a forum where major European thinkers, analysts and politicians can come together and discuss topical issues facing Europe, not only among themselves but with the public.


Václav Havel Human Rights Prize – Fences, Walls and Trenches: Freedom of Movement as a Human Right? 
12/10/16 08:30 – 12/10/16 17:00, Prague Crossroads, Zlatá 1, Prague

Fourth annual international conference in honour of the laureate of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize with the participation of this year’s three finalists and other eminent guests, including Michael Ignatieff, director of the Central European University, and Ales Bialiatski and Anar Mammadli, the 2013 and 2014 recipients of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.


Whose Media, Whose Interests? Ownership, Public Sphere and Online Space 
18/09/16 09:30 – 18/09/16 18:00, Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00

The aim of the conference is to critically reflect upon some of the main issues which currently surround debates about the performance of media in the Czech Republic and Central Europe in general, namely the changing models of media ownership, the independence of public service broadcasting, as well as the spreading of disinformation and propaganda via the social network sites.


The Story of a Refugee: Europe of Dreams and Reality 
30/09/15 08:30 – 30/09/15 16:00, Prague Crossroads, Zlatá 1, Prague

Third annual conference linked to the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize

International conference held in honour of Lyudmila Alexeyeva - the winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize - which focused this year on the wave of refugees from the Middle East and Northern Africa and the humanitarian and political problems that Europe and the international community is facing in this regard.


Conference: Reflections on the Underground 
22/09/15 10:00 – 22/09/15 17:00, Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00

They say the underground movement had as many forms as members. Despite persecution by the normalisation regime, the underground displayed unprecedented viability, bringing together disparate cultural and political activities.


Prague 2015 
29/05/15 13:30 – 30/05/15 14:00, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art

Václav Havel European Dialogues 
2nd Prague Conference, 29–30 May 2015
Time for Europeans Politics

  • Organizer: Václav Havel Library in cooperation with European Commission Representation in the Czech Republic
  • Partners: Forum 2000 Foundation, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
  • Venue: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Poupětova 1, Prague
  • Programme
  • Streaming

History of the Czech cultural and intellectual exile in North America 
14/06/14 09:30 – 14/06/14 18:30, Castle Pardubice, Eastern Czech museum of Pardubice

The second annual conference of notable intellectuals in various fields of natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The event is organized as a part of the Czech-American scholarly society The Comenius Academic Club [CAC].

More information


Comenius 2014 (a collective monography)


The Past in Us 
13/06/14 15:00 – 13/06/14 22:00, The Běhal Fejér Institute, Pevnostní 8, 160 00 Praha 6

The conference “The Past in Us”, examining the portrayal of the past in the literature of Central European countries, will be attended by writers, critics, journalists and publishers including Mirka Ábelová, Petr Borkovec, Miloš Doležal, Adam Drda, Jaroslav Formánek, Petra Hůlová, Bohdan Chlíbec, Peter Kocsis, Robert Krumphanzl, Monika Stehlíková, Max Ščur, Stanislav Škoda, Viktor Šlajchrt, Ondřej Štindl, Jan Šulc, Jáchym Topol, Czech Studies students and others.


Havel on Stage: practice, translation, reception 
16/05/14 09:00 – 18/05/14 14:00, Philosophical faculty of Charles University, Hybernská 3, Prague 1

An international conference on the subject of stage interpretation, translation practice and reception of Václav Havel’s work at home and abroad.

Among the Czech and foreign theatrologists and translators who have accepted the VHL’s invitation to attend are Paul Wilson, Markéta Goetz-Stankiewicz, Gyorgy Varga, Inna Bezrukova, Joachim Bruss, Mircea Dan Duta, Andrzej Slawomir Jagodziński and Monika Zgustová. Their papers will focus on various staging concepts and the critical reactions they received, as well as translatological issues linked to translations of Havel’s plays.

Conference programme


Participants Bios


Vaclav Havel European Dialogues, Prague conference: The Citizen, power and democracy in the European 
21/02/14 13:00 – 22/02/14 08:45, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art

The Václav Havel European Dialogues is an international project that aims to initiate and stimulate a discussion about issues determining the direction of contemporary Europe while referring to the European spiritual legacy of Václav Havel.


FR 21. 2. 2014

Welcome and Conference Opening

Europe and the Crisis of Democratic Capitalism

Reinventing the European Project

Evening Conversation: What Europe? What Democracy?

Glass of Wine with H. E. Michael Žantovský

SA 22. 2. 2014

Europe and the Limits of Civil Society. From consensus to a conflict-driven policy?

Federalism: The American vs. The European Way

Detailed program and participants´bios are available here.

The conference was held in English and Czech and was simultaneously translated into Czech and English.


Havel´s Garden Party 1963-2013 Conference 
13/12/13 09:00 – 13/12/13 17:00, Czech Academy of Sciences, Národní 3, 110 00 Prague 1

One day conference "Havel´s Garden Party 1963-2013" dedicated to Czech and international influence and perception of the first Havel´s play.


Civic Society: Freedom Is Not To Be Taken For Granted 
02/10/13 08:45 – 02/10/13 19:00, Prague Crossroads, Zlatá 1, Prague

The one-day conference Civic Society: Freedom Is Not To Be Taken for Granted is being held in connection with the first presentation of the Václav Havel Award for Human Rights, which is bestowed by the Council of Europe, the Václav Havel Library and the Charter 77 Foundation.

The conference will be conducted in English with simultaneous translation into Czech.

Organisers: Václav Havel Library, Charter 77 Foundation

Partners: Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala, Václav Havel Airport Prague, VIZE 97 Foundation.


European Identity and its Czech Reflection 
06/06/13 09:00 – 06/06/13 16:45, New York University Prague, Malé Náměstí 11 (Richtr House), Prague 1

By means of four panel discussions – The Historical Roots of European Identity: Czechs and Europe; The Cultural Context of Europeanness: Core or Facade?; Europe as an Economic Space and Global Player?; and The European Union: Political Chimera, Project or Reality? – this one-day conference will explore the phenomenon of European identity in a Czech context.


Europe and the Czech Republic 2113 
24/05/13 19:00 – 24/05/13 21:00, American Center U. S. Embassy Prague, Tržiště 13, Praha 1

Conference on the present state and future of European civilisation. The discussion panel will comprise Miroslav Bárta, Jeroným Klimeš, Jan Macháček and Václav Cílek. The conference is taking place in cooperation with Ace Academy.


The Solidarity of the Shaken 
15/05/13 19:00 – 16/05/13 21:00, The Běhal Fejér Institute, Pevnostní 8, 160 00 Praha 6

A two-day international seminar in English on the spiritual legacy of Václav Havel and Jan Patočka, in cooperation with the Centre for Phenomenological Research / the Jan Patočka Archive.


The Czechoslovak Presidential Traditions and the Direct Election of the President in the CR 
12/10/12 19:00 – 12/10/12 21:00, New York University Prague, Malé Náměstí 11 (Richtr House), Prague 1

A conference consisting of four panel discussions: the Masaryk and Benes Tradition, and the Presidential Traditions of Václav Havel and Václav Klaus. What to expect from direct presidential elections? A debate featuring presidential candidates was focused on the issue of the direct election of a president in the Czech Republic. The conference was organized by the Václav Havel Library in conjunction with NYU Prague.


Federalism and Europe 
19/06/12 19:00 – 19/06/12 21:00, New York University Prague, Malé Náměstí 11 (Richtr House), Prague 1

Two panels at this conference was focused on Europe’s integration process with an emphasis on the concept of federalism within the context of a long-term vision of Europe in the 21st century and in the current euro zone crisis.


The World-Altering Power of the Freedom of Speech 
09/11/11 19:00 – 09/11/11 21:00, Archa Theatre, Na Poříčí 26, Prague

An international symposium on the role of freedom of expression in today’s globalised and culturally and religiously non-homogeneous international society.

Accompanying programme: Exhibitions created by the NGO People in Need, “Press Against Persecution – Cuban Samizdat 2000–2010” and “Silenced Voices: An Exhibition About Murdered Human Rights Activists in Russia”. Evening public meeting featuring participants in the symposium, moderated by Carl Gerschman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Šimon Pánek of People in Need. Theatrical performance produced by Archa Theatre accompanied by the music of the All Star Refugee Band. Concert by the group The Plastic People of the Universe.

Organised by the Václav Havel Library in conjunction with People in Need and Archa Theatre.