|About European Values|
European Values is a non-governmental, not-for-profi t, pro-European think-and-action tank that works to promote freedom, personal responsibility, and active civil society.
Our main national programmes are: regular public debates in the “European Club”, annual international conferences, and summer school programs for university students. The international programme “European Values Network” is organized on the European level.
The beginning of European Values goes back to the year 2005 when the Association for European Values was founded. The fi rst project of the new organization was the European Club – an open platform for the exchange of opinions between the public, politicians, scholars, journalists, and businessmen. European Club hosted many signifi cant speakers, such as Members of European Parliament Jana Hybášková, Libor Rouček, Jan Zahradil, and Josef Zieleniec. Among other participants were Jiří Dienstbier, Ex-Minister of Foreign Aff airs, and Tomáš Halík, President of Czech Christian Academy. The Association for European Values was also one of the main organizers of the Europe-wide citizens’ initiative “Voice for Europe,” part of which involved collecting signatures for a petition against the opening of accession negotiations between Turkey and the EU.
In 2006 the Association expanded its programmes. After the European Club, where among the speakers were Tomáš Klvaňa, Alexandr Vondra, Jiří Pehe, Adam Černý, Petr Ježek, and the French philosopher André Glucksmann, we began the first Summer School for university students, entitled “From Identity Towards Integration.” The purpose of this educational programme was to create conditions for analyzing the mutual relationships between the phenomenon of European identity and the process of European integration. The participants, mainly Czech university students, attended various workshops (e.g. simulation of the European Council) and lectures, and participated in discussions with politicians. Among the lecturers were Josef Zieleniec MEP, Karel Kovanda, Deputy Director General for External Relations of the European Commission, Jan Kohout, Ambassador to the EU, Michael Žantovský, Ambassador to Israel, Radim Marada, Professor of sociology, and Rudolf Kučera, Professor of political science, who was the academic guarantor of the programme.
In May 2006 we organized our first annual international conference, “European Values and Identity for the 21st Century”. The conference was organized together with the International Institute of Political Science (IIPS) in Brno and was held under the patronage of Elmar Brok, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, and Stanislav Juránek, the Governor of the South Moravian Region. The main task of the conference was to define European values and identity, and to show how they determine the inner policy process within the EU. Among the participants were Nikolas Busse, a journalist from the Frankfurt newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung, Petr Drulák, Director of the Institute of International Relations Prague, Břetislav Dančák, Director of IIPS, the former Austrian Ambassador to NATO, Erich Hochleitner, and political scientist Alexandr Tomský.
In 2007, the organization changed its name to “European Values,” and expanded its activities to the European level with the European Values Network programme.
In three years European Values has become one of the leading organizations in the Czech civil sector, contributing to the public debate about the state and development of Europe and the Czech Republic within it. Since the very beginning the association has sought to systematically contribute to supporting and introducing European values in civil, political, and expert spheres.