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.


Thursday 2 May 2019: Villa Salviati, EUI

The language of the event will be English.

08.30 – 17.30 – Registration throughout the day

09.00 – 10.00 – Welcome and Networking Breakfast

10.00 – 10.30 – Plenary Session (livestreamed in listening rooms)

Welcome and introduction by Renaud Dehousse, President, EUI

Opening Address by Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy
“21st-Century Democracy in Europe”

10.45 – 12.00 – Morning Parallel Sessions A

A.1 – Rule of law oversight in the EU: Can value conditionality be reinforced?
A.2 – The impact of ICTs on political behaviour in European Parliament elections: Increasing turnout?
A.3 – Basic Income: The future of social policy or an expensive fad?

12.15 – 13.30 – Morning Parallel Sessions B

B.1 – Power of the powerless: Democratic politics from below in an age of distrust
B.2 – Generation(s) of the crises: How to address intergenerational inequalities in the EU?
B.3 – Immigration as a challenge or revitalizer of European democracy?
B.4 – Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU: 20 years after its proclamation and 10 years after its entry into force as law

13.30 – 14.30 – Lunch Break

14.45 – 16.00 – Afternoon Parallel Sessions C

C.1 – Do we really need politicians? E-democracy vs. representative democracy
C.2 – The future of democracy and governance: Global trends to 2030
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?

16.15 – 17.30  – Afternoon Parallel Sessions D

D.1 – The future of party democracy: Cartel parties and their challengers at the European level – A panel in honour of Professor Peter Mair
D.2 – Capture of politics by business
D.3 – Doing what’s right for the climate while winning public support

17.45 – 19.00 – High-level Panel Debate (livestreamed in listening roomsA more democratic EU external action


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 – 18.00 – Registration throughout the day

09.30 – 09.45 – Welcome

09.45 – 10.15 – High-level Discussion – Antonio Tajani, President, European Parliament 

10.15 – 10.45 – The State of the Union Address – Is there a crisis of democracy in Europe? – Hanspeter Kriesi, Stein Rokkan Chair in Comparative Politics, EUI

10.45 – 11.15 – High-level Address – Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France

11.15 – 11.45 – Coffee Break

11.45 – 12.15 – High Level DiscussionFederica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President, European Commission

12.15 – 12.45 – High-level DiscussionKlaus Iohannis, President of Romania

12.45 – 14.15 – Lunch Break

14.30 – 16.00 – Panel Debate – Restoring people’s trust in the Single Market for banking and finance

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

17.30 – 18.00 – Closing Address – Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy (tbc)

18.00 – 18.30 – Break

18.30 – 20.00 – Debate amongst the “Spitzenkandidaten”  – Co-hosted by the EUI and the Financial Times. Speakers: Lead candidates for the position of President of the European Commission.


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.