The State of the Union 2019
The State of the Union 2019, the ninth edition of the annual conference organised by the European University Institute, was held 2-4 May at Villa Salviati and Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. More than 800 participants gathered to consider this year’s theme, 21st-Century Democracy in Europe, through sessions focused on such issues as the rule of law, intergenerational inequalities, the Single Market, and disinformation in elections – all critical topics leading up to the European elections in late May 2019.
This year’s programme included a number of notable speakers: Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Hans Dahlgren, Swedish Minister for EU Affairs, Vĕra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, European Commission, and Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Trade, European Commission.
The event concluded with a festive Open Day at Villa Salviati, which welcomed a record crowd of more than 4,900 people to the property, home to the Historical Archives of the European Union, for tours, concerts, dancing, children’s activities, food samples, and more.
A highlight of this year’s addition was a Spitzenkandidaten debate among four of the lead candidates for the position of European Commission President Ska Keller, Frans Timmermans, Guy Verhofstadt, and Manfred Weber. The debate, like the rest of the programme, was livestreamed, making the content available to viewers worldwide.