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

Katerina Sakellaropoulou

President of the Republic, Greece

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

Dubravka Šuica

Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, European Commission

Wopke Hoekstra

Commissioner for Climate Action, European Commission

Věra Jourová

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, European Commission

Laurence Tubiana

CEO, European Climate Foundation (ECF)

Gert Jan Koopman

Director-General, DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

Francesca Bria

President, Italian National Innovation Fund, and Board Member, RAI

Anne-Marie Slaughter

CEO, New America

Media partners

Logo Financial Times
Logo Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Logo TG COM 24


Logo Banca d’Italia
Logo Bertelsmann Stiftung
Logo Co-funded by the European Union
Logo Comune di Firenze
Logo European Investment Bank (SOU)
Logo European Media and Information Fund
Logo Florence School of Regulation, FSR
Logo Fondazione CR Firenze
Logo McKinsey Global Institute
Logo Open Society Foundations
Logo PagoPa
Logo Poste Italiane
Logo YouGov

Supporting partners

Logo Destination Florence
Logo Fondazione dell’Ordine dei Giornalisti della Toscana
Logo Hoster Food
Logo JD Events
Logo Pioda
Logo Tecnoconference – TC Group