EU, NATO lower flags to half-mast

European institutions the European Council, Parliament and Commission, as well as NATO headquarters, flew their flags at half-mast on Monday in honour of former president Václav Havel, while the European Council held a minute of silence in the former statesman’s memory. A day earlier, upon hearing of Mr Havel’s passing, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy credited Mr Havel with “creating history in his country”, while the head of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso called him “a true champion of democracy and freedom”. Mr Havel was seen as one of the most important figures in the push for the Czech Republic joining NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

Author: Jan Velinger