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 focus of this year’s edition is on 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.
In the context of the SOU2024, as in 2014 and 2019, the EUI is likely to host a televised debate among the Spitzenkandidaten, the representatives of the different political families running for the post of European Commission President.
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
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. On this day, the EUI is likely to host a televised debate among the Spitzenkandidaten. All sessions will be livestreamed on the SOU website.
On Saturday, 25 May 2024, the EUI will open its doors and the gardens of Villa Salviati, home of the Historical Archives of the European Union, to the public. The Open Day aims to connect the local and European communities, and is dedicated to art and culture, guided tours, and recreational activities.
Speaker line-up includes
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
President of the Republic, Portugal
President of the Republic, Greece
Minister for European Affairs, Czech Republic
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ghana
Former Prime Minister, Italy, and President, Jacques Delors Institute
Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, European Commission
Commissioner for Climate Action, European Commission
Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission
CEO, European Climate Foundation (ECF)
Gert Jan Koopman
Director-General, DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission
President, Italian National Innovation Fund, and Board Member, RAI
CEO, New America