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The MCC Brussels team are about to begin what we’d like to think is a well-earned break. It’s been a bumper year for us, but has been even more of a bumper year for politics. It’s been challenging at times to know where to turn, and how to keep our intellectual bearings amid so much chaos. 

But there have been three constants throughout. First, how the EU elite have sought to downplay the Qatargate scandal and minimise any interference in the cosy relationships between the NGO class and the Brussels bureaucracy. Second, how Hungary has functioned as a stage villain for EU bigwigs - less a country than big bad wolf. They seem to need Hungary to justify their increasingly censorious and federalist mindset. And third, how populism refuses to go away. The ordinary people of Europe are making their voices heard and challenging the EU bubble on everything from immigration to climate change. 

To reflect on this tumultuous year, we recorded a special episode of the MCC Brussels podcast, and took it to video for the first time. In it, our head of policy Jacob Reynolds is joined by our executive director Frank Füredi and the seasoned Brussels journalist Bruno Waterfield. The group ask what happened to Qatargate, why Hungary - and its demonisation - dominated European discussion, why populism is not going anywhere, and what we can hope for in 2024.


Do watch, and share with your friends and colleagues. 

But for now, a very merry Christmas to you all!