The State of the Union: 2011-2018
The State of the Union, organised by the European University Institute (EUI), is a high-level conference for reflection on the European Union. For a few days each spring, the city of Florence becomes a hub of debate as experts from around the world gather to discuss the most pressing issues faced by Europe and Europeans today.
Over the past seven years, we have discussed the European institutions and democratic governance, the role of Europe in a globalised world, migration, surveillance and freedom, the Eurozone crisis, the role of women, and European citizenship. We have been joined by a diverse audience and participants including heads of state, heads of the EU institutions, politicians, civil society representatives, academics and journalists.
In 2011, the first edition of The State of the Union took place as part of the Festival d’Europa. Over the course of two days, participants debated four topics of crucial relevance: the functioning of the EU after the Lisbon Treaty; Europe in the globalised world; the euro and the global economic governance; growth, employment, financial stability after the crisis. Since then, the mission of The State of the Union has remained constant whilst the event has grown in relevance and reach. In an age of post-fact politics, The State of the Union brings scientific expertise on divisive issues to an ever-wider public. Audiences from around the world have watched more than 9666 hours of live-streamed debates and, in 2017, our speakers made headlines as far afield as Washington and Beijing.
The State of the Union forms a key part of the European University Institute’s contribution to European and international debates on governance, integration and the shared challenges of a globalised world. In turn, the European University Institute’s research excellence is the foundation of The State of the Union’s international success. A committee of specialists from the EUI community shapes the content of each year’s conference, engaging the most compelling experts to explain the most relevant issues and developing an overarching theme to give focus to a set of complex topics.