CH2 V_clav_Havel_About_European_Identity - Vclav Havel...

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Václav Havel About European Identity In an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in March 1994, the President (and famous writer and poet) of the Czech Republic expounded his views on the underlying bonds across the European continent: "Europe is a continent of extraordinary variety and diversity geographically, ethnically, nationally, culturally, economically and politically. Yet at the same time all its parts are and always have been so deeply linked by their destiny that this continent can accurately be described as a single albeit complex political entity". The idea of a European Union , he said, is not "born in the laboratory of political theoreticians"; rather, "It grew quite naturally out of an understanding that European integrity was a fact of life, and from the efforts of many generations of Europeans to project the idea of unity into a specific 'supranational' European structure." He has frequently made clear he wished for no "monstrous superstore", but rather "the systematic creation of a space that allows the autonomous components of Europe to develop freely and in their own way in an environment of lasting security and mutually beneficial co-operation based on principles of democracy, respect for human rights, civil society, and an open market economy ." He has also been an outspoken and early proponent of European Union enlargement: "Only a fool who has learned nothing from the millennia of European history can believe that tranquillity, peace and prosperity can flourish forever in one part of Europe without regard for what is happening in the other",

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