Václav Havel European Dialogues with Joachim Gauck, 7 May 2014

The debate on the subject of Europe and (its) future was held as part of a state visit by the president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, and took place at his country’s embassy. President Gauck exchanged ideas with Petr Pithart, who for many years was chairman of the Czech Senate, while a subsequent discussion was chaired by Jacques Rupnik.

The German president ended his speech on an urgent, beseeching note: “Since 1989, Europe has been closely connected in a way we could scarcely have imagined at that time. Elections to the European Parliament are ahead of us. This is an occasion for us to consider where we are and where we are heading: How can reconciliation succeed? Where are we in terms of common values? What needs to happen for Europe to be regarded in the world as a single actor?”


Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi

„Many Europeans and Americans today are painfully aware of the fact that Euro-American civilization has undermined and destroyed the autonomy of non-European cultures. They feel it was their fault, and thus feel they have to make amends through a kind of emotional identification with others, through accommodating them, through trying to ingratiate themselves, through a longing to “help” them in one way or another. To my mind, this is a false way of going about it… It contains… the same familiar feeling of superiority… It is inverted colonialism. It is an intellectual spasm. I think we will all help one another best if we make no pretences, remain ourselves, and simply respect and honour one another, just as we are. “

Václav Havel:
Speech on receiving the Indira Gandhi Prize, New Delhi, February 8, 1994

What Price Human Rights?