JA21 leader and Member of Parliament Joost Eerdmans would like a Pim Fortuyn chair to be set up so that students can become acquainted with the vision of the politician who was murdered in 2002 on social and political developments.
Fortuyn was shot dead by an environmental activist just before the elections and would have turned 75 this Sunday. Eerdmans will seek support for his plan from the universities and if the financing fails, he will consider starting crowdfunding.
Eerdmans was a candidate for the Pim Fortuyn List in 2002. After Fortuyn’s death, the LPF became the second party in one fell swoop with 26 seats in parliament and Eerdmans entered parliament. As a student, Eerdmans himself took lessons from the politician, who was also a professor by special appointment at Erasmus University in Rotterdam in the field of employment conditions. Eerdmans says that he has had the idea of a chair for a long time and that Fortuyn’s birthday is a good opportunity to start this campaign. “His family also agrees with the initiative,” said the member of parliament.
The current JA21 politician believes that the problems Fortuyn pointed out at the time are still current 21 years after his death. ‘It is a pity that his analysis of this has faded away in politics in The Hague.’ Eerdmans emphasizes that ‘it’s not about agreeing or having to agree with him, but about the way he viewed society and politics’. According to him, his ideas are much broader than his criticism of Islamism, for which Fortuyn was reviled by many. He thinks that the lectures on this subject can be ‘interesting and instructive’ for, for example, future politicians, civil servants and administrators.
The member of parliament does not yet know who the professor should be and at which university the chair should come. Eerdmans himself is thinking of Leiden or Rotterdam. According to him, the costs for a chair amount to approximately 1.5 tons per year.