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Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský participated at this year’s edition of "Václav Havel European Dialogues" in Brussels

In line with the established tradition, Václav Havel European Dialogues took place in Brussels on 13 November 2023 at the Prague House, and were launched by the commemoration of recently deceased former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. 

Besides the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jan Lipavský, the 11th edition of the Václav Havel Dialogues welcomed other distinguished speakers, namely Director General of DG NEAR Gert Jan Koopman, co-founder of the Ukrainian Centre for Victory and former Ukrainian politician Victoria Voytsitska, and Montenegrin human rights activist Daliborka Uljarević. The opening speech were delivered by the Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU Edita Hrdá and the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium Jakub Skalník.

This year, the Dialogues focused on the EU enlargement policy and the crucial role of the civil society in the context of the current geopolitical and reform challenges that the EU is facing. The discussion focused on the way the enlargement process strengthens the civil society and on the rule of law principles, and at the same time tackled how the civil society helps the candidate countries on their European path. Last but not least, the recently issued European Commission enlargement package was mentioned, since it contains the assessment reports of all countries aspiring for EU membership as well as next steps that the EU is preparing.

The panelists agreed that in the current era  we face several parallel security, political and social challenges, but at the same time that these represent an opportunity for strengthening of the significance of European values like democracy, tolerance and respect for human rights. These are the values that Václav Havel advocated for. His legacy and special emphasis on the role of civil society remain inspirational today.    

You can view the recording of the discussion here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrTPbrS38M8.

The event was organised by the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Brussels, the Czech Center Brussels, the Prague Delegation to the EU, and the Václav Havel Library.

This year's edition of the Václav Havel European Dialogues is part of a series of human rights and democracy events prepared by the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU. Among them are, for example, the traditional lighting of candles at Václav Havel's Place in Parc Léopold. This year the ceremony will take place on 17 November at 5 p.m. in the presence of Ambassador Edita Hrdá, as well as the Czech and Slovak community in Brussels. From 9 November, the Permanent Representation also hosts the photo exhibition of Rudolf Prekop entitled “Underground/Human Portrait”.