ILIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel – a Czech writer, philosopher, dissident, and politician. Served as the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia (1989-1992), and the first president of the Czech Republic (1993-2003). He has written over twenty plays, some of which are translated into number of languages. Havel received the US President’s Freedom Medal, Philadelphia Freedom Medal, The Order of Canada and a title of goodwill ambassador. “Prospect Magazine” has ranked Havel fourth in the world’s top 100 intellectuals list. Havel is known as a founding signatory of the “Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism”.

Havel became President as a result of the “Velvet Revolution”. Through this position Havel turned Czechoslovakia and consecutively the Czech Republic into a multi-party democratic state. During his 13-year rule, country has undergone radical changes; separation from Slovakia is among them, to which Havel opposed. NATO membership and EU membership negotiations started in 2004, one year after Havel’s presidential mandate was over, and resulted with Czech Republic joining the European Union.