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The Vaclav Havel European Dialogues: The EU between Yesterday and Tomorrow

  • Where: DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
  • When: May 20, 2019, 12:30 – 20:00

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.


12.30–13.00 Registration

13.00–13.15 Introduction

Michael Žantovský (Vaclav Havel Library), Dana Kovaříková (European Commission Representation)

13.15–13.35 A performance by Bohdan Bláhovec on the theme of “The EU between Yesterday and Tomorrow”; musical accompaniment by Jakub Cermaque

13.35–14.50 Panel I.: EU – A Matter of Love or Marriage of Convenience

In his address at the European Parliament back in 1994, Václav Havel said that having studied the Maastricht Treaty and other documents on which the EU is based, the appeal was to his reason, not to his heart. Prior to accession to the EU, a considerable part of the population was influenced by the euphoria from “returning to the West”. In the 2003 referendum, 77% of people voted for to join. Can we say now, 15 years later, that the citizens’ hearts burn for the EU? How are we experiencing European identity today? Isn’t it just a marriage of convenience, stripped of all emotion? Where can the EU’s positive ‘charisma’ be found, especially for young people?

Věra Jourová (European Commission)
Lenka Zlámalová (Echo24)
Martin Povejšil (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Pavel Rychetský (Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic)

Speaker: Jiří Hošek (Seznam TV)

14.50–15.10 Coffee Break

15.10–16.25 Panel II: Central Europe in the EU and the EU in Central Europe

In some respects, Central Europe has been living through the European identity crisis in recent years. Efforts appear to turn the wheel of the pro-western direction towards the East. What is causing this crisis, and how is it manifested in individual countries of the region? And how is the EU perceived by young active people who are engaged in civic life and are trying to struggle against the other direction? Could the approaching European elections indicate a positive turning point?

Jan Spiewak (Wolne Miasto Warszawa association)
Karolína Farská (Iniciativa za Slušné Slovensko initiative)
Karoly Nagy (Youth organisation of the Momentum party)
Václav Němec (philosopher, pedagogue)

Speaker: Michael Žantovský (Václav Havel Library)

16.25–16.45 Coffee Break

16.45–18.00 Panel III: The Millennials and the Future of the EU

For young people, the EU is an obvious part of their life. How do they view it, and how do they see its future? How do they perceive the approaching European elections? Are they pro-European by rule of thumb? What can they do so that other countries do not follow the example of Great Britain? What specific steps and recommendations do young people have for the EU and their peers?

Kovy (youtuber)
Jaroslav Miller (Principal of Palacký University in Olomouc)
Barbora Kollárová (finalist in the essay contest of the Václav Havel Library)
Vojtěch Dyk (singer)

Speaker: Zuzana Tvarůžková (Czech TV)

18.00–18.15 Closing Remarks

Tomáš Petříček (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

18.45–20.00 Music programme: The Odd Gifts

The whole conference will be simultaneously translated between English and Czech languages.

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