Vaclav Havel: “more room for the expression of the will of individual nations and for the exercise of their identity”

Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic

 “I would recommend to take the course of a gradual, increasingly profound, enhancement of the parliamentary and federal elements, rather than one founded on treaties among states and on institutions built on the basis of such treaty arrangements. This may look surprising at first sight, but I am really convinced that the former offers more room for the expression of the will of individual nations and for the exercise of their identity. The latter course, on the other hand, tends to produce swelling bureaucracies that nobody elected, and over which the people – the citizens of the member states – have no control.

“A joint fundamental declaration, charter or constitution with an articulate preamble could become a meaningful asset, helping every European to understand the meaning of European unification and of the sacrifices that it may entail, the central idea of this unprecedented political process and the ways in which the system works.”

Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, address to the French Senate, Paris, 3 March 1999

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