September 20, 2012
Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2012 – Czech Republic President Václav Klaus has presented Heritage Foundation President Edwin J. Feulner with a special Golden Medal in recognition of his “remarkable contribution… in defense of freedom, individual liberty and free markets.”
Feulner received the award in Prague, during a recent meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, the international organization devoted to advancing classical liberal values such as free markets, free trade and limited government. In presenting the award, Klaus praised Feulner for “transforming The Heritage Foundation into America’s leading conservative institution, inspiring and shaping crucial policy debates in the United States and expanding the ideas of the free society around the world.”
Václav Klaus holds a copy of Ed Feulner’s new book, “The American Spirit,” after awarding him the Czech Republic’s Golden Medal.
Feulner has been at the helm of The Heritage Foundation for 35 years, building it up from a small, storefront operation in 1973 to the most broadly supported and well-known think tank in the world. Heritage today boasts hundreds of thousands of members and a staff of more than 200. It has become a major institutional presence on Capitol Hill and a prominent voice in virtually every significant policy debate since the late 1970s.
Klaus noted that, while Feulner has traveled the world promoting freedom, he has long had “a special relationship” with the Czech Republic. Feulner first visited the land in 1966, when then-Czechoslovakia, chafing under the yolk of the Soviet Union, resisted Moscow’s demand for greater military integration among the Warsaw Pact nations. Feulner has returned many times since.
Feulner also has welcomed Klaus to Heritage on several occasions when—as prime minister and more recently as president—he lectured on topics ranging from the need for democracy in Eastern Europe to the challenges facing the European Union.
“It’s incredibly humbling to be recognized by a world leader, especially one who has been so remarkably successful in preserving and extending the boundaries of free markets in the Czech Republic,” Feulner said. “Under his leadership, the Czech Republic has become a country that recognizes individuals’ natural rights, promotes free markets and limits the power of the state, making it a model for Eastern Europe.”