Caroline de Gruyter

Caroline de Gruyter (b. 1963) is a European Affairs correspondent for the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and a regular contributor to Carnegie Europe and Foreign Policy. She was posted to Brussels twice and spent more than twenty years covering Europe. Her previous books include Swiss Lives: the New Political Reality in Europe (2015) and A Cursed Paradise: Why Politicians Must Finally Take Europe Seriously (2016). De Gruyter currently lives in Oslo but wrote this book, her fifth, in Vienna, the former capital of the Habsburg Empire.

It Won’t Get Any Better

It Won’t Get Any Better

A Journey through the Habsburg Empire and the European Union

(De Geus, 2021, 248 pages)

For the European Union, recent years perhaps have felt like the beginning of the end, what with nationalism rising across the board, geopolitical dynamics shifting throughout the world, ugly deals with border nations, Brexit and financial troubles. Europeans love to complain the EU has too little power, or too much, that it’s too slow, too weak, too divided. And yet European Affairs correspondent Caroline de Gruyter recognizes striking parallels with the Habsburg Empire, which saw itself similarly tasked with unifying many different, wary and critical states, and nevertheless lasted six centuries: ‘the zeitgeist is different, but the nature of the political games is not.’ What can the…

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