Felix Meritis Connecting Cultures (FMCC) & Partners

Background and Mission

Felix Meritis Connecting Cultures continues to express the values of the Enlightenment that led the founders of the Felix Meritis Society, established in 1777, to reflect upon and develop sciences in the context of society. For FMCC, art, culture, philosophy and politics are matters of everyday life.

In 2022 FMCC established a permanent formal partnership with its sister organisations: the Amsterdam Summer University (AMSU), focused on (higher) education, and the Society Felix Meritis (Genootschap Felix Meritis), an international network of artists, intellectuals, cultural entrepreneurs, journalists, and politicians, also to be operating with our new partner European House for Culture (2023). Since then, these three legal bodies are led by one board and one supervisory board mainly operating under the name FMCC.

We support the EU ambition to strengthen European Identity through Education and Culture (Social Summit Gothenburg 2017) by developing knowledge-based projects to address today’s societal challenges, seeking for innovative approaches in academic, citizenship education and arts & heritage practices. Partly with existing partners while looking for new and curious individuals, institutions, politicians, journalists and citizenship educators.

Board (unremunerated)

Dr h.c. S. Austen, Chair

Steve Austen is entrepreneur, director MBA Culture, Heritage & Citizenship at Netherlands Business Academy, publicist, lecturer and public speaker.
L. Bouws MA, Vice Chair

Linda Bouws is director Metropool Internationale Kunstprojecten, curator of art manifestations, and publicist.
Prof. F. C. de Ruiter, Secretary

Frans de Ruiter is Professor emeritus of Creative and Performing Arts at Leiden University.
M. Austen, Treasurer

Masja Austen has her own company and extensive experience in financial services for cultural organisations and artists.
F. Beltjes MA, Member

Frederike Beltjes is a researcher and editor, with a background in international business, education and legal translation.

Supervisory Board (unremunerated)

Prof. dr T. van Haaften, Chair

Ton van Haaften is professor emeritus at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and Dean of the Honours Academy.
H. van Haare Heijmeijer, LL.M, Treasurer

Huub van Haare Heijmeijer is owner at Driehaas Beheer B.V. He held banking and managerial positions in Europe and Latin & North America.

Honorary chair

mr M.R. Meijer

Maarten Meijer has been a notary in Amsterdam since 1992 and has held many international positions, such as Vice-President of the European Affairs Commission of the International Union of Notaries.

Annual Reports: