Caroline de Gruyter

In 2017, Europe correspondent Caroline de Gruyter, delivered the 15th Europe Lecture. The theme of the lecture was 'United in Diversity'. Professor Paul Scheffer also gave his view on this topic. The lecture was moderated by Caspar van den Berg.

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Caroline de Gruyter

Caroline de Gruyter

Caroline de Gruyter is Europe correspondent for the leading Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Between 2008 and 2013 she has lived and worked in Brussels, covering the euro crisis and European politics. In June 2013 she was awarded the prestigious Anne Vondeling Prize for political reporting. Her voice and expertise about Europe are well-known in the Netherlands.

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Lecture

It is a great pleasure for me to be speaking to you about this year’s ‘Prinsjes theme’: polarisation and pacification.

For me, this goes straight into the heart of the European matter. Polarisation and pacification tend to go together. Europe is my field of work. The European Union is a peace project. It was, and it still is to this day, an attempt to pacify European nation states with clashing interests and ambitions. Those clashes have, as we all know, in the past repeatedly gotten out of hand militarily.

I often hear people complain these days about the EU. “See,” they say: “there is the EU and still the North is disagreeing with the South! Brussels is at loggerheads with the Visegrad states! The French have different plans for the euro than the Germans!” and so on. Yes, that’s right. Day in, day out, European countries clash with one another on a wide range of different subjects. They have different interests, different hangups, different ambitions, different industries and different taboos - and so they will always clash. They used to fight this out with guns. Now they fight with words. I think that’s sheer progress.

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Previous speakers

Year

Speaker

Moderator

Theme

2016

Irina Bokova

Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi

Sada Mire

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović

Cultural Heritage at risk

2014

Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga

Jonathan Holslag

Tom de Bruijn

Peace and Security

2013

F.W. de Klerk

Karel van Wolferen

Bernard Bot

Europe in the World

2010

Herman van Rompuy

Frans Timmermans

Europa 2030

2009

Jan Peter Balkenende

Jacek Saryusz-Wolksi

Europa: een unieke geschiedenis, een unieke toekomst

2001

Javier Solana

Dick Benschop

Enlargement of European Union: Opportunity of Threat?

2000

Gerhard Aigner

Margo Vliegenthart

EURO 2000 and the Social Significance of Sport

1999

Hans Tietmeyer

Nout Wellink

The Euro: The New Common Currency

1998

Jan Hoet

Rudi Fuchs

Beeldende kunst in Europa

1997

Mary Robinson

Wim Kok

Europe, the Need for Self-Reflection

1996

Richard Goldstone

Maarten van Traa

Human Rights, Peace and Justice in Europe

1995

Raymond Kendall

Arthur Doctors van Leeuwen

Law Enforcement in Europe

1994

Lord Peter Carrington

Berend-Jan van Voorst tot Voorst

Peace and Security in Europe

1993

Jacques Attali

Wim Duisenberg

The Costs of European Reconstruction

                                                                                                                                                                         

 

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