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From Schuman to Havel – what next?

February 16, 2022


The Václav Havel Library is a proud partner of the project Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe

European integration was a response to the collapse caused by WWII, from which Europe emerged geopolitically and economically weakened. On top of that, its eastern half was swallowed up by the Soviet Russian empire, which became an existential threat to the remainder of the continent.
Unification’s moment of initiation was the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950, authored by French foreign minister Robert Schuman.

The international project Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe aims to highlight the 70 the anniversary of the signing of the Schuman Declaration, to reflect on Robert Schuman’s legacy in the work of his successors – five major political figures in modern European history – Václav Havel, Jacques Delors (France), Altiero Spinelli (Italy) and Bronislaw Geremek (Poland), and above all to reach out to the young generation and inspire them to take an interest in the shared Europe future.

The collective endeavours of the five institutions involved have given rise to specialised essays used as the basis for lectures and discussions with young students. A collection bringing together all the essays and central ideas of the debates that have taken place will come out in the joint English-language publication “Beyond Schuman’s Europe – citizens’ ideas for a better Union”, which will be freely available in the first quarter of 2022.

Project partners:
The Bronislaw Geremek Foundation, Poland  
Istituto di Studi Federalisti Altiero Spinelli, Italy  
The Jerzy Griedroyć Forum, Lithuania  
Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors, France

The project Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme "Europe for Citizens"

Applicable to the Strand 2 – Measure 2.2 "Networks of Towns"
Measure 2.3 "Civil Society Projects"

Strand 1 – "European Rememberance"

Preparatory activities: The preparatory activities involved all the consortium organizations, including authors of the project papers and project coordinators. Together 17 people. All the preparatory activities took place online or where the consortium organizations are located, in Warsaw, Paris, Latina, Prague, and Vilnius. The kick-off meeting organized by the Bronislaw Geremek Foundation took place online on 9/10/2020. It was attended by all the representatives of the consortium organizations (5 people). Another consortium call providing updates about the project realization and plans for the next activities took place on 20/10/2021 and was attended by seven representatives from all of the organizations. There have been also monthly bilateral discussions and arrangements with partners. The Bronislaw Geremek Foundation was in charge of managing and coordinating the entire project and its partners, including the distribution of financial resources. The project papers in native languages were prepared before the following debates in each country. The English versions of the project papers were delivered to the Geremek Foundation and then edited and published on 24/02/2022 – the day of the final debate.

Short description: These activities consisted of preparing the papers about how the Robert Schuman Declaration inspired and impacted the European thinking of 5 Europe Founding Fathers who patron the organizations involved in it. The other type of organization-preparing works of The Bronislaw Geremek Foundation involved organizing the consortium meetings, creating the logotype of the project, gathering the documents about the events and research papers, and publishing them in the final report “Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe – citizen’s ideas and historic perspective for a better Union”.

Events: 6 events have been carried out within this project:

Event 1
Participation: The event involved 66 citizens, including 46 participants from France (8 with dual nationality), 5 from Italy, 6 from Germany, 2 from Romania, 2 participants from Poland (with dual Polish-French nationality), 2 participants from Belgium (one with Belgian-French nationality) and 1 from Greece. Participants from outside of the EU (not considered in the final account) came from Algeria, Australia, Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Kingdom.
Location / Dates: The event took place online on 21/05/2021.
Short description: The aim of the event was a presentation of the paper on “Robert Schuman’s legacy in Jacques Delors’ vision and action” and a discussion on the origins, inputs, and consequences of the Schuman Declaration and the Schuman’s legacy in Jacques Delors’ action. The event, attended by a young, international audience, created a discussion space about the modern meaning of Robert Schuman’s legacy. The event was organized in the framework of the Institute’s youth-oriented flagship initiative Académie Notre Europe.

Event 2
Participation: The event involved 40 registered citizens (and approx. 30 citizens that didn’t register that are not taken in the final account), including 32 participants from Italy, 1 from Greece, 1 from Spain, 1 from Romania, 1 from Hungary, 1 from Austria. Participants not from the EU countries (not considered in the final account) come from Ukraine and the United Kingdom (Scotland).
Location / Dates: The event took place in a hybrid way in Rome, Italy on 11/02/2022 and in Latina, Italy from 12/02/2022 to 13/02/2022.
Short description: The aim of the event was to discuss the relationship between Altiero Spinelli’s ideas and action and the Schuman Declaration with its outcomes. The federalist contribution to the process of European construction was also presented and discussed in connection with the Conference on the future of Europe and the role of youth in Europe.

Event 3
Participation: The event involved 57 citizens, including 47 participants from Poland, 5 participants from France, 1 participant from Lithuania, 1 participant from Germany, 1 participant from Portugal and 1 participant from Spain. The only participant from the non-EU country comes from Belarus (not considered in the final account).
Location / Dates: The event took place in a hybrid way in Warsaw, Poland on 18/11/2021.
Short description: The aim of the event was presenting the research paper: “History, Community, Solidarity: On the political afterthoughts of Robert Schuman and Bronisław Geremek” and discussing the European values. Still, it went further to the recent political events – such as the Conference on the Future of Europe and elections in Germany and France. It presented the continuity of Robert Schuman’s and Bronislaw Geremek’s ideas and resonance in the modern world.

Event 4
Participation: The event involved 85 citizens from the Czech Republic. Additionally, there was a participant from the United States over 65 years old (not taken into the general account).
Location / Dates: The event took place in Prague, the Czech Republic on 22/11/2021 and 24/11/2021.
Short description: The aim of the event consisting of two lectures and discussions was to present the research paper: “Václav Havel and Robert Schuman: The search for the soul of Europe” and discuss topics like European identity, transformations of Czech European consciousness throughout history, and Czechs’ and other Central Europeans’ long-standing affiliation to the West. Particular emphasis was placed on the geopolitical context of the second half of the 20th century, highlighting the figures Robert Schuman and Václav Havel.

Event 5
Participation: The event involved 67 citizens, including 64 participants from Lithuania, 1 participant from Poland, 1 participant from Denmark, and 1 participant from Germany.
Location / Dates: The event took place offline in Videniškiai Church and Augustine Monastery on 17/06/2021 and in Vilnius, Lithuania on 20/09/2021. The third part of the event – an online screening was organized on 02/02/2022.
Short description: The aim of the event was to present the research paper “Concepts of Robert Schuman and Jerzy Giedroyc and their modern relevance”. The authors of the research paper, together with moderators and a special guest, compared the ideas of Robert Schuman and Jerzy Giedroyc and their political realism.

Event 6 – the final event
Participation: The event involved 65 citizens, including 57 participants from Poland, 3 participants from France, 1 from Lithuania, 1 from the Czech Republic, 1 participant from Hungary, 1 from Spain, and one from Italy (Italian and Polish nationality).
Location / Dates: The event took place in Starachowice, Poland on 22/02/2022 (workshops) and in Warsaw, Poland on 24/02/2022 (hybrid event)
Short description: The aim of the event was to present the final paper that included reports of the consortium organizations - “Beyond Robert Schuman’s Europe – citizen’s ideas and historic perspective for a better Union but also discussing the modern meaning of the Robert Schuman’s Declaration, and the issues connected to reading and writing history, historical memory and how the history can be inspirational to young generations.


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