Europe in a Changing World
On 6 and 7 May 2021 The State of the Union, the EUI’s annual summit for high-level reflection on the European Union, celebrated its tenth anniversary. The event took place in hybrid form at the Badia Fiesolana in the Florentine hills with selected sessions happening on stage in the EUI’s production studio. This year’s theme Europe in a Changing World fostered high-level debate, discussion and audience engagement on eight key topics: artificial intelligence, climate, geopolitics, the global economy, multilateralism, peace and human rights, public health and strategic autonomy.
With 161 speakers, 44 sessions, 45 recording hours, 8 overarching topics and 3 parallel streams, this year’s hybrid edition was a daring feat into the unknown! 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.
The 2021 edition concluded on Saturday 8 May with a special in-person event #SOU4YOU – Bringing the State of the Union Closer to Citizens at the Roman Theatre in Fiesole. Co-funded by the European Union, the initiative engaged civil society and young people in discussion on pertinent political topics and sought to inspire them to act as protagonists within the European democratic process. This was achieved by bringing them into close contact with over 40 speakers, including representatives from European and local institutions, influencers and activists, and 20 musicians, all of whom took to the stage to share their perspectives and enter into direct conversation with the public. The final session of the day, “Time to retreat?” a tragicomedy on European crises and non-European sanctuaries was a real success as 15 actors explored Europe’s role and values in an ever-complex world through satirical nuance.