Strasbourg/Brussels, July 6 (CTK) – A new building of the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg was named after former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel yesterday and it was inaugurated by EP President Antonio Tajani and Havel’s widow Dagmar Havlova.

Havel (1936-2011) was Czechoslovak president in 1989-1992 and Czech president in 1993-2003.

Havlova pointed out that Havel addressed the EP in 1944 and in 2000.

“He highly respected this international institution because it is based on the same values he himself espoused throughout his life, values for which he was fighting all his life,” Havlova said.

Tajani said Havel was trying all life to reach reconciliation and peace.

“His life and his devotion to democracy inspire us and bind us to carry on the effort to build a juster, stronger Europe that is closer to citizens,” Tajani said.

The brief ceremony outside the EP building was also attended by French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau, MEPs, the Mayor of Strasbourg and other guests.

The building marked with the abbreviation “HAV” is decorated with works by Czech authors commemorating Havel.

One of them is a tapestry in one session room. It was designed by Czech artist Petr Sis. French weavers worked on it for three months. It features a silhouette of Prague Castle over which a figure formed by a flock of white birds is flying.

Its larger version is placed in Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport.

The new EP building was originally built for the Council of Europe in 1955. It used it until 2007. In 2012, the EP bought the building for 6.7 million euros and had it restored.

The decision to call it after Havel was made by the EP board in January 2012 on the proposal of former EP deputy president and Czech MEP Libor Roucek.

A bigger part of the building will be used by the EP and about one third of offices by the European Ombudsman.

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