Founded in 2007, the Center for European Renewal (CER) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, educational, and cultural organisation dedicated to the Western ideal of a civilised, humane, and free society. To this end, the Center seeks to nurture in successive generations of Europeans an understanding of and devotion to the truth and wisdom embedded in the Western intellectual and moral tradition.
The CER is headquartered in Amsterdam and is organised as a charitable foundation under the laws of the Netherlands. It is active in all of Europe and hopes to appeal to all friends of Western civilisation throughout the world.
The following principles guide the Center for European Renewal in its mission to strengthen the Western tradition in Europe:
Liberty and Responsibility
Liberty is vital to human flourishing. But liberty is not license: personal responsibility is its precondition, which requires the development in each person of the virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, temperance, faith, hope, and charity.
The family is the foundation of society. Families grow from the union of man and woman in marriage, who support each other and welcome the hopeful task of raising their children to become mature adults, able in their turn to embrace the vocation of parenthood. The family as a social institution must always be upheld.
Free Markets and Civil Society
The interplay of supply and demand constitutes the world's most productive economic system -- and the one most compatible with liberty and responsibility. But human beings must be considered more than mere producers and consumers, so that the logic of market relations does not exhaust the common good. This is why free markets likewise depend upon a vital civil society.
Limited Government and the Rule of Law
A state that seeks to provide all things for its people will drain initiative from its citizens and undermine the legitimate authority of other social institutions. Good government is strong but limited, and subject to the rule of law. It must be secured by constitutional provisions such as the separation of powers and accountability of the government to the people.
Living generations are not the masters of the resources of the earth, to do with them as they please. They must be stewards of the riches -- both natural and cultural, both material and spiritual -- they inherit at birth.
To become civilised, humane, and free, we must ascend the ladder of liberal education, which acquaints us with “the best that has been thought and said". By making the great works of the Western tradition our own, we are able to discriminate between what can be done and what ought to be done, and so to offer wise leadership in service to one another. A true liberal education enlarges the mind by orienting the soul towards the good, the true, and the beautiful.