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Václav Havel European Dialogues 2021: 
The Other Europe

We have long since demolished the high wall that had separated us from the democratic Europe, but at the same time we are still tolerant of new walls, just as bad as the fallen ones, that are gradually and inconspicuously rising around us and among us.
Václav Havel, New Year's Address, Prague, January 1, 1999

DATE May 11 - 12 2021
WHERE www.othereurope2021.com
ORGANIZERS Václav Havel Library
Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU

PROGRAMME

One half of this year’s theme - The Other Europe - refers back to the epoch when Europe was divided into East and West. The first part of the conference - The Other Europe in the 1980s - refers to a six-part series produced by British television station Channel Four in 1987–1988 about the situation in the communist-ruled countries of Central Europe, based on interviews with the leading opposition figures of the era. The Václav Havel Library is in possession of the complete raw footage of the series. One panel of the conference is dedicated to four interviewees from 1987–1988 and their “facing the younger me” responses. 

The second half of the conference - The Other Europe Today - will address the current situation: Is there an Other Europe today? Is it drifting apart again from its Western neighbours? What impact has the pandemic had on the EU’s geopolitical standing and internal cohesion? Has the pandemic affected perceptions of liberal democracy and the opinions of the younger generation? In this second part we aim to explore the possible links between past and present concepts of Central European “otherness” and perspectives for overcoming such divisions.

The conference is aimed primarily at secondary and college-level students, as well as scholars, experts, and members of the public interested in European issues. Albeit at a distance, we look forward to vivid online interaction between the speakers and our international audience.

11 May 2021

17:00 OPENING
Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library

17:05 INTERVIEW WITH VIP GUEST
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Influencer Karel (Kovy) Kovář will pose the questions

17:45 INTRODUCTION
Jacques Rupnik, political scientist, creator and presenter of documentary The Other Europe

18:00 PANEL I - THE OTHER EUROPE
Lech Walesa, President of the Republic of Poland, 1990-1995
Lutz Rathenow, legislator, Saxony, Germany
Jan Krčmář, translator and journalist

Martina Mašková, moderator

19:00 CONCLUSION OF FIRST DAY AND INVITATION TO SECOND
Martina Mašková, moderator

12 May 2021

15:00 LAUNCH OF DAY TWO OF CONFERENCE
Jana Ciglerová, moderator

15:00 PANEL II – THREE-GENERATIONAL DIALOGUE
Milan Šimečka, philosopher and literary reviewer (historical recording)
Martin Milan Šimečka, writer and journalist
Michal Šimečka, Member of European Parliament
Jana Ciglerová, moderator

16:00 PANEL III - THE OTHER EUROPE TODAY
Zuzana Čaputová, President of the Slovak Republic
Olga Richterová, Vice-Chair of the Committee for Social Policy of the Czech Chamber of Deputies
Marianne Kneuer, President of the International Political Science Association
Timothy Garton Ash, University of Oxford
Ivan Krastev, IWM Vienna

Michael Žantovský, moderator

17:00 CULTURE PROGRAMME

17:20 CLOSE OF CONFERENCE
Michael Žantovský, director of the Václav Havel Library