Edmund Burke Foundation

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Group.png Edmund Burke Foundation   WebsiteRdf-icon.png
FormationDecember 2000
Typethink tank
A conservative think tank based in the Netherlands.

Founded by Bart Jan Spruyt, the Edmund Burke Foundation is an effort to “conserve the virtuous elements of Dutch society, and to restore those virtuous elements that have been lost”.[1]

The foundation’s website gives an account of how the think tank was founded:

“Resisting, the prevailing 'progressive' political and cultural climate in The Netherlands, a group of young conservatives hoisted the flag of conservatism high in December of 2000. They named their foundation after the founder of intellectual conservatism, the British Member of Parliament Edmund Burke (1730-1797). In the spirit of Burke we are of the opinion that much that was worth preserving and cherishing has been destroyed in recent decades in our country. Many fundamental ideas from the Judeo-Christian and classical-humanist traditions-the two pillars of our civilization-were unjustly pushed aside, social connections were broken, and within this vacuum of individualization and increasing anonymity the role of government has grown to grotesque proportions. ” [2]

According to Corpwatch the role of the foundation has diminished since 2005 due to pharmaceutical firm Pfizer withdrawing funding from the think tank.[3] A report from Action Aid argues that the funding from Pfizer was given to the foundation "on condition that it would promote private healthcare policies".[4] According to Dutch weekly newspaper De Groene Amsterdammer, Pfizer withdrew funding after the think tank's founder Bart Jan Spruyt affiliated himself with Geert Wilders.[5] The foundation is also a member of the Stockholm Network and according to the Public Partners website the Stockholm Network was "founded in collaboration" with the Edmund Burke Foundation, the Social Market Foundation, Timbro, Paradigmes, the Centre for the New Europe and Circulos de Empresarios.[6]


Views

The Edmund Burke Foundation promotes strong free market reforms and opposing abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage. It also supports the idea that there is no convincing evidence for global warming. It was founded in 2000 and is the only conservative think-tank in the Netherlands.[7]


Immigration

On the subject of immigration founder of The Edmund Burke Foundation, Bart Jan Spruyt argued that "Unfortunately, the debate about Dutch identity is too often held at a very trite and trivial level as if the discussion is between Brussels sprouts and wooden shoes on the one hand, and couscous and caftans on the other," going on to add "What is really at stake, due to frivolous immigration policies and decades of multicultural indifference, is the identity of the Dutch nation, Dutch history and culture as a part of the history of Western civilization."[8].

Bart Jan Spruyt also accompanied Geert Wilders on a visit to the U.S. in 2005:

I still recall sitting next to Bart Jan Spruyt for a dinner meeting of conservative leaders at a Midtown restaurant in 2005. Mr. Spruyt, the founder of the Dutch think tank Edmund Burke Foundation, was visiting here with a member of the Dutch Parliament, Geert Wilders. Bodyguards stood outside the closed meeting because Mr. Wilders had been under a death threat from radical Islamists because of his insistence on a moratorium on foreign immigration and his opposition to Turkey entering the European Union.[9].

In 2004 Jan Spruyt also argued against Turkey entering the EU, arguing that "People have become more aware of the huge problems you face to make another culture and another religion compatible with your own,"[10]

People

Board & Staff

Its director is Bart Jan Spruyt, who was a personal friend of the populist Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn was murdered in 2002 in the runup to the elections in the Netherlands.[11]


Funding

According to a report on Corporate Watch:

The Netherlands-based Edmund Burke Foundation took over $400,000 from Pfizer in 2001-5 and imploded when Pfizer stopped funding them.[12] The Edmund Burke Foundation has also received funding from Microsoft.[13]

Affiliations

Atlas Economic Research Foundation[14] | Stockholm Network | Pfizer | Microsoft | Social Market Foundation | Timbro | Paradigmes | Centre for the New Europe | Circulos de Empresarios

Resources


References

  1. Edmund Burke Foundation, Homepage, The Edmund Burke Foundation, Accessed 04-May-2010
  2. Edmund Burke Foundation, Homepage, The Edmund Burke Foundation, Accessed 04-May-2010
  3. Corpoprate Watch, PFTHINK TANK PFONIES, Corporate Watch, Newsletter 27- 3, Accessed 04-May-2010
  4. ActionAid International, Under the Influence, Spinwatch, 26-January-2006, Accessed 04-May-2010
  5. Pieter van Os, Pfizer and Microsoft sponsored rightwing thinktank in the Netherlands, Spinwatch, Accessed 04-May-2010
  6. Links, Stockholm Network, Public Partners, Accessed 04-may-2010
  7. Moritz Schwartz, Ein ganz außergewöhnlicher Mann Junge Freiheit, 9-May-2003, Accessed 04-May-2010
  8. Mike Corder, High profile immigrants stir national identity crisis in the Netherlands, Associated Press, 21-November-2007, Accessed via Nexis UK 04-May-2010
  9. Alicia Colon, Madrassa Plan Is Monstrosity, The New York Sun, 1-May-2007, Accessed via Nexis UK 04-May-2010
  10. Graham Bowley, Turkey offers a test of EU multiculturism; Wary public may hurt Ankara's dreams, The International Herald Tribune, 15-December-2004, Accessed via Nexis UK 04-May-2010
  11. Moritz Schwartz, Ein ganz außergewöhnlicher Mann Junge Freiheit, 9-May-2003, Accessed 04-May-2010
  12. Corpoprate Watch, PFTHINK TANK PFONIES, Corporate Watch, Newsletter 27- 3, Accessed 04-May-2010
  13. Pieter van Os, Pfizer and Microsoft sponsored rightwing thinktank in the Netherlands, Spinwatch, Accessed 04-May-2010
  14. Edmund Burke Foundation, Directory, Atlas U.S.A., Accessed via web archive 20-September-2003, Accessed 04-May-2010