The 14th edition of The State of the Union will take place in Florence from Thursday, 23 May, to Saturday 25 May 2024. Global leaders and experts from across sectors, students, policy makers and journalists will gather at the European University Institute to reflect on the most pressing issues on the European agenda. The event forecasts two conference days and one additional day celebrating European art and culture in the framework of the upcoming EU elections. The conference days will be livestreamed on the SOU website and broadcasted widely.

The conference tackles a range of key themes including future enlargements of the European Union, demography, democracy and the rule of law, industrial policy, as well as the digital and green transitions, all of which will play a crucial role in the run-up to the European elections in June 2024. Sustainability emerges as a central focus, with discussions revolving around transitioning to green energy to promote regional cohesion and combat climate change. Digital transformation represents another challenging area of discussion, where experts analyse strategies for enhancing competitiveness, establishing a strong digital public infrastructure and navigating the complexities of AI and blockchain regulation. Moreover, the conference addresses pressing issues including strengthening democracy, countering foreign interference, and addressing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The State of the Union 2024 will feature exciting networking opportunities for all guests and partners, and offer engaging discussions amongst participants, all taking place in stunning locations in Florence. 


Please note that number of sessions, keynote speeches and their timings are indicative and subject to change

Speaker line-up includes

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

President of the Republic, Portugal

Katerina Sakellaropoulou

President of the Republic, Greece

Andrzej Szeptycki

Under-Secretary of State, Poland

Leila Benali

Minister for the Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Morocco

Martin Dvořák

Minister for European Affairs, Czech Republic

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ghana

Enrico Letta

Former Prime Minister, Italy, and President, Jacques Delors Institute

Nadia Calviño

President, European Investment Bank

Laurence Boone

Former Secretary of State for European Affairs, France

Josep Borrell Fontelles

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President, European Commission

Dubravka Šuica

Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, European Commission

Věra Jourová

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission

Margaritis Schinas

Vice-President, European Commission

Laurence Tubiana

CEO, European Climate Foundation (ECF)

Wopke Hoekstra

Commissioner for Climate Action, European Commission

Francesca Bria

President, Italian National Innovation Fund and Board Member, RAI

Venues and format

The event will start on Thursday, 23 May 2024, at the EUI’s campus on the hills overlooking Florence. The programme will centre on in-person sessions, which will explore the themes from an array of academic and policy perspectives. There will be plenty of networking opportunities and social events to meet and interact with representatives of academia, industry and civil society, policy makers and officials from the EU and beyond.

On Friday, 24 May 2024, participants will reconvene, along with heads of state, EU and international leaders, representatives of the private sector and civil society, to contribute their views on the themes of the conference through interviews and high-level conversations. In the afternoon, the conference will move to Palazzo Vecchio, the historic seat of Florence’s City Council. All sessions will be livestreamed on the SOU website.

On Saturday, 25 May, as the concluding event of The State of the Union 2024, the Historical Archives of the European Union will open its doors and welcome the public to visit the archives and Villa Salviati. With our partner FAI, visitors will be able to tour the beautiful grounds and buildings of the historic villa, and visit the state-of-the-art vaults where Europe’s memory is preserved.

Media partners

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Logo Bertelsmann Stiftung
Logo Co-funded by the European Union
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Logo Confindustria Firenze
Logo European Investment Bank (SOU)
Logo European Media and Information Fund
Logo European Parliament
Logo Florence School of Regulation, FSR
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Supporting partners

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Logo Consorzio del Pane Toscano Dop
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Logo Fondazione dell’Ordine dei Giornalisti della Toscana
Logo Fonderia del cacao
Logo Giotto Fanti fresh
Logo Gruppo alimentare Valtiberino
Logo Hoster Food
Logo I.N.P.A.
Logo JD Events
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Logo Ravvin
Logo Tecnoconference – TC Group
Logo The Social Hub
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