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The Vaclav Havel European Dialogues

Brussels, 20 November 2019

Europe 1989-2019: How to sustain the path towards Europe Whole and Free?

“Everything seems to attest to the fact that we don’t need to be afraid to dream of the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become reality. Without dreaming of a better Europe we will never be able to build a better Europe.”

Václav Havel, Address at the Council of Europe, 10 May 1990

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

When and where

  • Date: 20 November 2019
  • Place: House of European History, Brussels
  • Organizers: Vaclav Havel Library, Czech Centre, House of European History, Embassy of the Czech Republic in the kingdom of Belgium, Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU


17:45 Registration

18:00 Opening of the Conference
Jakub Dürr, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU Pavel Klucký, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium Introduction by the Moderator of the Discussion: Michael Žantovský, Executive Director of the Václav Havel Library

18:15 First Panel: Marek Belka / Michal Šimečka / Jamie Fly

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution, the first panel will summarise and analyse the transformation of Europe achieved so far. The dream of Europe “Whole and Free” seems to be fading away, despite the historic enlargements of NATO and the European Union. Besides Russia’s coercive actions to prevent its neighbours from choosing this vision for themselves, there are new challenges stemming from the EU’s internal developments, including Brexit. Are we able to act in the face of disinformation campaigns and the rise of third actors? Do both sides of the Atlantic and their population still share the same vision?

19:15 Second Panel: Frans Timmermans / Alexandr Vondra / Nathalie Loiseau  

1989 was the Year of Europe, beyond any policy planner’s dream. The second panel will explore whether 2019 brings a new momentum for the vision of 1989 and indicate the work that is still ahead of us. The new EU institutional cycle represents a new element in ongoing discussion on the future of the EU. How to sustain the path towards Europe Whole and Free? What lessons do the recent transformations of Central and Eastern European states offer? Does the EU remain united in its vision for the future? How can the EU better support the aspirations of countries striving to join? 

Glass of wine