Havel om nasjonen og Europa

Av - 18.12.2011 17:41

Vaclav Havel døde i dag på sitt landsted i Tsjekkia, 75 år gammel.

Som politiker og politisk tenker var Havel opptatt av moral og verdier, og benyttet mange anledninger til å advare mot økonomi som eneste målestokk for politikk — både i nasjonal og i europeisk sammenheng. I diskusjoner om EU gikk han inn for at unionen måtte bli mer opptatt av verdiene et demokratisk europeisk fellesskap bygger på. Her er ett eksempel, fra en tale Havel holdt i Europaparlamentet i 2009 i anledning 20-årsjubileet for de demokratiske revolusjonene i Øst-Europa.

Our identity is created not only by what is unique to us as individuals, but also by certain so-called shared layers of identity. The identity of each of us is moulded, to a greater or lesser extent, by our membership of family, community, region, firm, church, association, political party, nation, sphere of civilisation, and, last but not least, of the planetary community. All this has to do with various sorts of homes we can have: based on geographical location, or on opinion, language and ethnic or other grouping. These all help create us. It is also connected with our various types of ownership, our goals, our affinities, inclinations, our sources of pride, our emblems, traditions, customs, habits and peculiarities. In short, the world is full of diversity, and that is equally true of humankind and each one of us.

These shared affiliations are also the origin of shared sovereignty, of course. At each level of our identities we have a certain measure of sovereignty, but at none of them do we have absolute sovereignty, nor can we have. The only thing that matters is that these sovereignties should be mutually complementary and that, as far as possible, they should not contradict each other.

I’m sure you have an inkling of why I am following this train of thought at this particular time: after all, to a large extent, the debates about the European constitution and the Lisbon Treaty centre on the issue of what should be the relationship between national and European sovereignty.

The answer is obvious: the two should complement each other.

After all, the fact that I feel myself to be a European doesn’t mean that I stop being a Czech. On the contrary: as a Czech I am also a European. I tend to say somewhat poetically that Europe is the “homeland of our homelands”.


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