The Erasmus Prize 1986 is being awarded to Vaclav Havel

  • because he bases his work on the traditional European idea of the individuality of every human being and therefore opposes all threats to a humane culture;
  • because he is of the opinion that every human being must personally bear his or her responsibility and make choices;
  • because he has always remained true to his own conscience and therefore speaks out with great courage against the dangers to which liberty is exposed;
  • because he stands for the idea that genuine peace between countries can only be achieved if every individual citizen in those countries has the chance to live in a free and just society;
  • because he demonstrates through his ideas that his country’s culture is rooted in a European tradition which goes back for centuries and which must not be allowed to die.