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2024 is a massive year for Europe. We at MCC Brussels are committed to changing the debate around the future of the continent and will fight to make the case for a Europe which is freer, comprised of sovereign states, more secure, unafraid of its history, unshackled from environmentalism, and one that promotes genuine excellence across the arts, culture and economy.
Read on for 6 key ideas that will feature in all our work, from our publications to our events, our podcasts and videos to our outreach. There are also plenty of ways to get involved and support our mission. We all have to win the argument on these issues in order to build a better Europe.
1. A Europe of free societies
At MCC Brussels we are proud freedom-fighters. What does this mean in the European context? It means we will fight to give European citizens greater freedom in their individual lives, against the legion of bureaucrats who think they know better than you how to live your life, what you should think or how you should act. Whether it is Brussels busybodies trying to interfere in your family life a la the parenthood certificate, the incredible system of digital censorship and surveillance in the DSA and beyond, or regulations trying to stop you enjoying your food and drink as found in the EU’s new packaging rules – those in power across Europe distrust ordinary people and keep trying to interfere in your lives. We, by contrast, trust people and believe individuals are the best judge of what is best for them. We will expose those who want to meddle in your lives and support the proud European tradition of freedom of speech, of thought, and of action.
2. A Europe for sovereign states
One of the foundational freedoms is democratic: the freedom to decide on the future of your country. This is impossible without strong support for national sovereignty. National sovereignty means that decisions are taken where democracy lives and breathes: the nation-state, with its rich variety of traditions and a sense of national belonging. The EU is dominated by those who think sovereignty is a dirty word – that Europe should be post-national, post-democratic, and post-political. Every year sees a flurry of proposals to bolster the power of the EU against the nation. In recent months, we’ve seen accelerating demands to end unanimity in the most sensitive policy fields. Also we see continuous efforts to hand power to the EU parliament in the name of democracy, but which would only strengthen a supranational institution which is eager to overwrite national democratic decisions. Most recently, there are calls for more EU taxes and financial burdens on citizens and European countries and an extended EU budget. We will continue to show why decisions are best taken at the national level and why more European centralisation – only ever ‘more Europe’ – is not the solution but the source of the problem.
3. A Europe of strong borders
Sovereignty, in turn, means strong borders. There is no national freedom and sovereignty without the right to decide who comes to live with us. This is especially important in a context where European elites would like to import millions of people with very different beliefs, traditions and values than those shared by Europeans. The EU’s migration pact is just one part of this. There is nothing shameful in supporting strong borders and we will not be lectured on ‘tolerance’ by those who are intolerant of their fellow citizens’ concerns. Europe’s elites enjoy virtue-signalling about immigration but rarely, if ever, have to live with the consequences. We will support the right of European societies to defend their borders and believe that genuine solidarity to others exists on the foundation of secure, confident societies and sincere and well-thought relations between Europe and other regions.
4. A Europe against the culture war and unafraid of its history
Part of the Brussels elite’s enthusiasm for immigration comes from its profound lack of confidence in – even shame about – Europe’s traditional values and the legacy of European civilisation. When the achievements of classical Athens or Renaissance Florence – not to mention the Industrial Revolution or the Age of Enlightenment – are little more than ‘white supremacy’, why would it matter if Europe suddenly were to host millions of people who are not familiar with and sometimes hostile towards this tradition of freedom and achievement? But the culture war has even wider ramifications. From education to museums, music to cinema, family life to political life, a culture war is being waged on the values and aspirations of ordinary Europeans. We are told that our way of life is fundamentally racist, sexist and even ‘speciesist’. The only answer to these attempts to rewrite sex and gender, indoctrinate children against our values, or destroy the boundary between adult and child, human and animal is a robust defence of the best in Europe’s history. The legacy of the past is not gone, and we pledge to defend and extend it.
5. A Europe unshackled from environmentalism
One of the consequences of the culture war against European civilisation is that the achievements of industrial society and dynamic economies have been called into question. Europe is less likely to produce the next great innovation than it is to weigh it down with excessive environmentalist measures. There is also the supreme danger that the EU will regulate out of existence the abundant energy we need for modern life. At the heart of all these attacks on our economy and productivity is the ideology of environmentalism: an ideology that says human beings are fundamentally destructive, polluting, essentially evil creatures, and that the only thing we can do short of disappearing from the planet is reducing our ‘carbon footprint’ to that of a 14th Century peasant. The EU’s current environmentalist crusade has terrible consequences for farmers, as we’ve illustrated, and that is just the beginning. While we support sensible efforts at conservation and enjoy our hiking and skiing holidays as much as the next person, we will fight all attempts to hamstring Europe’s enormous potential through unending environmental regulation. We are already falling behind our friends in the USA. We will fight for a European future of abundance and prosperity.
6. A Europe of excellence
The truth is that Europe, under the shadow of the EU, is stagnant. Economies are flatlining, new innovations are conspicuous by their absence, and cultural life is weak, repetitive and dull. We demand far greater investment of economic and cultural capital in Europe’s future. We believe in a Europe prepared to innovate new technologies and ready to experiment and take risks to overcome the current state of low productivity and economic stagnation. We demand a greater focus on raising the standard of education and investing in the revitalisation of quality cultural work. The EU spends vast sums of money on indoctrinating forms of cultural propaganda, on scientific research of questionable utility, and even more money tying European companies in knots with regulation. Defunding the woke propaganda, refunding genuine science and innovation, and unshackling Europe’s economy is a key priority for us.
What we are doing …
What do all these things mean in practise? We’ll be using every tool at our disposal to shift the public debate in favour of a freer, stronger, more secure, more confident and more prosperous Europe. We firmly believe in the importance of public debates, where we can each have our voices heard in a city that rarely gives such opportunities. So join us for many exciting debates across the year. We know that there are many out there who are open to robust, logical but forceful argumentation – so keep your eyes peeled for our reports which make the case for a different kind of Europe. We also know how to reach a wider public audience to shift attitudes and encourage genuine questioning, so you’ll see our team in the media commenting on the issues of the day. But we are under no illusions about how dominated the traditional media is by the Brussels consensus, so we’ll be producing plenty of our own media in the form of podcasts, videos, discussions and viewpoints. And, of course, we have our fast-growing newsletter, Freedom Frites. So please send this to anyone you think might be interested in an alternative take on Europe’s politics.
… and how you can join in
But above all, we want you to join in. Get in touch with us, come to our events, share our reports and videos and loop us in to the examples you see in your own life about how the consensus that currently dominates the EU is constricting freedom. Perhaps you’re a teacher who is sick and tired of woke indoctrination creeping into the curriculum – come tell us over coffee what’s happening and we’ll help expose it. Perhaps you’re a secret sceptic working in the EU institutions – drop us a confidential line to alert us to something sinister on the agenda. Maybe your business is struggling against some new stifling piece of legislation – let us know and we’ll take a stand against it. Or perhaps you’re just a normal citizen who is terrified of new restrictions on what you can say online or how the EU is coming for your national freedom – we’d love to hear from you or you can join us on our channels and boost our message. Whatever you do, your input will raise our work from simply highlighting an alternative to actually being out there and building it.