A Europe Fit for the Next Generation?

The 12th edition of The State of the Union will take place in Florence from 5 to 7 May 2022 and will focus on the future of the European Union.

Two years from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU’s importance in shaping a better future has never been clearer. The conference is a platform for experts and civil society members from all over the world to debate urgent crises. Split into five streams, this year’s edition of the EU’s annual policy conference tackles sustainability and resilience, democracy and the rule of law, the evolution of justice, the development of migration, and how crisis can fuel change. Eminent speakers will explore a wide range of topics impacting citizens’ lives, such as the future of digitalisation, the challenges of reaching carbon net neutrality, and how the Next Generation EU recovery plan can address the damage inflicted by the pandemic. A truly global event, the conference goes beyond Europe, with panels debating the future of the EU’s relationship with the United States and Africa’s emerging role on the global stage.

Organised by the European University Institute in Florence, The State of the Union is a unique opportunity for the worlds of academia, policymaking, business, media, and civil society to come together and ask: can today’s crises lead to a better future? 

Venues and format

On Thursday 5 May, the conference will take place at the EUI’s stunning hilltop hub. This first day will centre around an extensive programme of mostly in-person parallel sessions. These sessions will predominantly be panels and roundtables exploring the conference’s main streams from an array of academic and policy perspectives.

On Friday 6 May,The State of the Union will move to Palazzo Vecchio, home to Florence’s city council, in the heart of the historic city. It will host heads of state and EU leaders, prime ministers and diplomats, academics, civil society representatives, journalists, businesspeople, and opinion leaders from Europe and beyond in a state-of-the-art TV production format.

On Saturday 7 May, the EUI will open the doors and gardens of Villa Salviati, home to the Historical Archives of the European Union.

Scientific Committee

Composed of influential experts and academics representing all of the EUI’s academic units, the Scientific Committee is responsible for devising the programme, focusing on topical issues, and ensuring discussions are engaging, accessible, and scientifically sound.

Stay tuned: more info on #SOU2022 will follow soon!

About the past edition of The State of the Union 2021

The 2021 hybrid edition of The State of the Union, with the theme: “Europe in a Changing World”, counted 161 speakers44 sessions, 45 recording hours, 8 overarching topics and 3 parallel streams. Over 10,000 people around the world participated in the online audience via the live stream and shared their opinions and questions during the sessions. SOU2021 was supported by 24 local and international partners whose collaboration was instrumental in its success. Find out more details on the SOU2021 Final Report.

The making of #SOU2021
The Team of #SOU2021
Testimonials of #SOU2021
Video Trailer of #SOU4YOU