The 2019 edition of The State of the Union will have a special emphasis on 21st-Century Democracy in Europe, a theme of particular relevance in the run-up to the European elections at the end of May 2019. Expert speakers representing a broad range of organisations, countries and views will debate and reflect on the democratic functioning of the European Union, its member states, and their capacity to respond to the aspirations and needs of future generations. Participation in The State of the Union 2019 is on an invite-only basis. The entire event will be live-streamed. #SOU2019 #FlorenceDebate


Thursday 2 May 2019: Villa Salviati, EUI

The language of the event will be English.

08.30 – 21.30 – Registration throughout the day

08.30 – 09.45 – Networking Breakfast – Villa Salviati Courtyard and Gardens

09.45 – 10.00 – Welcome (video) – Room: Sala del Consiglio (live-streamed in listening rooms)

Gunta Arāja, Deputy State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sciences, Latvia, and Chair of the High Council, European University Institute
Renaud Dehousse, President, European University Institute (full address text, Italian)

10.00 – 10.30 – Plenary Session (video) – Room: Sala del Consiglio (live-streamed in listening rooms)

Opening Address by Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy (full address text, Italian)
“21st-Century Democracy in Europe”
(This address will be delivered in Italian with translation into English)

10.45 – 12.00 – Morning Parallel Sessions A

A.1 – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU: 20 years after its proclamation and 10 years after its entry into force as law – Room: Sala degli Stemmi
A.2 – The impact of ICTs on political behaviour in European Parliament elections: Increasing turnout? – Room: Sala De Gasperi
A.3 – Basic Income: The future of social policy or an expensive fad? – Room: Sala del Consiglio
A.4 – The future of party democracy: Cartel parties and their challengers at the European level – A panel in honour of Professor Peter Mair – Room: Sala Lounge

12.15 – 13.30 – Morning Parallel Sessions B

B.1 – Power of the powerless: Democratic politics from below in an age of distrust – Room: Sala Lounge
B.2 – Generation(s) of the crises: How to address intergenerational inequalities in the EU? – Room: Sala De Gasperi
B.3 – Immigration as a challenge or revitalizer of European democracy? – Room: Sala degli Stemmi
B.4 – Rule of law oversight in the EU: Can value conditionality be reinforced? – Room: Sala del Consiglio

13.30 – 14.30 – Lunch Break – Villa Salviati Courtyard and Gardens

14.45 – 16.00 – Afternoon Parallel Sessions C

C.1 – Do we really need politicians? E-democracy vs. representative democracy – Room: Sala degli Stemmi
C.2 – The future of democracy and governance: Global trends to 2030 – Room: Sala del Consiglio
C.3 – Extended Session (14:45 – 17:30) – 30 years after: What has the 1989 democratic transition brought to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe? – Room: Sala Lounge

16.15 – 17.30  – Afternoon Parallel Sessions D

D.1 – A more democratic EU external action – Room: Sala del Consiglio
D.2 – Capture of politics by business – Room: Sala degli Stemmi
D.3 – Doing what’s right for the climate while winning public support – Room: Sala De Gasperi

17:30 – 18:00 – Networking Break – Villa Salviati Gardens

18.00 – 19.30 – Debate amongst the “Spitzenkandidaten”  – Room: Sala del Consiglio (live-streamed in listening rooms)
Co-hosted by the EUI and the Financial Times. #FlorenceDebate

Introduction: Renaud Dehousse, President, European University Institute

Moderator: Martin Sandbu, European Economics Commentator, Financial Times

Ska Keller, European Greens Party
Frans Timmermans, Party of European Socialists
Guy Verhofstadt, Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe
Manfred Weber, European People’s Party.

19.30 – 21:30 – Cocktail and Networking Dinner – Villa Salviati Courtyard and Gardens


Friday 3 May 2019: Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio

Final timings and format to be confirmed. Simultaneous translation into English and Italian will be available.

07.30 – 17.30 – Registration throughout the day – Cortile di Michelozzo

09.30 – 09.45 – Welcome (video)

09.45 – 10.10 – Institutional welcome (video): Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy

10.10 – 10.45 – The State of the Union Address (video) – Is there a crisis of democracy in Europe? – Hanspeter Kriesi, Stein Rokkan Chair in Comparative Politics, EUI (full address slides, English)

10.45 – 11.30 – Break

11.30 – 12.00 – High Level Discussion (video) – The Future of the European Union as a mission for all of us – Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania in conversation with Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger, Foreign Editor, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

12.00 – 12.30 – High-Level Address (video) L’Europe à la croisée des chemins – Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France (full address text, French)

12.45 – 13.45 – Lunch Break – Cortile della Dogana

14.00 – 15.30 – Panel Debate Restoring people’s trust in the Single Market for banking and finance

Moderator: Chiara De Felice, EU Economic Correspondent, ANSA

Andrea Enria, Chair, Supervisory Board, European Central Bank
Sylvie Goulard, Deputy Governor, Bank of France
Jakob von Weizsäcker, Chief Economist, Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany

15.30 – 16.00 – Break

16.00 – 17.30 – Panel DebateTackling disinformation and strengthening election integrity to support democracy

Moderator: Madeleine de Cock Buning, Professor, School of Transnational Governance, EUI, and Chair, European Commission High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and Disinformation

Hans Dahlgren, Minister for EU Affairs, Sweden
John Frank, Vice-President for EU Government Affairs, Microsoft
Roula Khalaf, Deputy Editor, Financial Times
Ľuboš Kukliš, Chair, European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services

17.30 – 18.00 – Closing Address (video) – Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy (full address text, Italian)


Saturday 4 May: Open Day, Villa Salviati, EUI

The Open Day concludes The State of the Union 2019 and this year is in the framework of the Festival d’Europa where Villa Salviati will once again open its doors to the public to showcase the Historical Archives of the European Union. The Open Day will celebrate Europe and its diversity, which is both a symbol and objective of the EU.