The title of our programme reflects the importance and content of the legacy of the first post-communist president of the Czech Republic and a former dissident, Václav Havel. First, Havel´s idea of Europe was broader (in geographic terms) than EU integration. At the same time, Havel recognized and highlighted the importance of closer European cooperation that constitutes the core of relations among European countries. The EPS Programme also relates to Europe in that sense, stressing in the curriculum the importance of courses on EU-related topics but in a broader European context (in geographical, cultural, economic and political terms). Second, among a variety of non-academic Associate Partners, EPS lists two institutions connected to Havel - both very prestigious institutions located in Prague and having a strong international network and impact: the Václav Havel Library and Fórum 2000.
The Václav Havel Library collects, researches, disseminates, promotes and advocates the spiritual, literary and political legacy of this great figure of modern Czech history: the author, playwright, thinker, human rights defender and Czechoslovak and Czech president. It also focuses on people, events and phenomena related to the legacy of Václav Havel and strives to place them in the context of the times and of the present. The Václav Havel Library will offer EPS students the possibility of internships, guest lecturers and expert consultations and also will support the PR efforts of the programme.
The second Václav Havel related Associate Partner is Fórum 2000, which was co-founded in 1996 by Václav Havel himself. Fórum 2000 focuses on strengthening civil society, rule of law and tolerance. Conferences and other events organized by the Forum 2000 Foundation are held in Prague, Czech Republic. As an Associate Partner, Fórum 2000 will give students the possibility to attend its events and the annual conference and also to become members of its preparation and organizations teams. Last but not least, Havel himself used to teach seminars at Charles University in Prague (the Coordinating partner of EPS), at the Faculty of Social Sciences. There is thus a personal link to this important and still inspiring intellectual and political personality.
The EPS Consortium will also deliver each year a special award for outstanding performance – best MA thesis of the year. The award will be named after Václav Havel – EPS - Václav Havel Award – and will represent thus his relationship to the academic world, ideas and values.