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About -  The State of the Union



Building a People’s Europe

The State of the Union conference, organised by the European University Institute (EUI), is an annual event for high-level reflection on the European Union (EU). Now in its seventh year, it has become a reference point in the EU agenda for policy-makers, civil society representatives, business and opinion leaders, and academics. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, as well as the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament have taken part in the event over the years.

In 2017, The State of the Union, under the title Building a People’s Europe, revolves around the theme of European Citizenship, a multi-faceted topic of acute relevance across all EU member states. Sessions will deal with the future of citizenship; direct democracy and populism; the impact of the global refugee emergency on Europe; the financial crisis, the free movement of persons and the labour market; and security, in a broad sense of the word.

In times of crisis or instability, a clear and nuanced multi-level understanding of the EU’s successes, failures and challenges is crucial. By offering a moment for key actors to meet and reflect on Europe’s most pressing issues, The State of the Union conference responds to this need.

The 2017 State of the Union Conference Building a People’s Europe took place in Florence on 4-5 May 2017 (the full programme is available here). A family day dedicated to culture closed the conference on 6 May 2017.

The report on the 2017 edition of The State of the Union is available here: The State of the Union 2017 Report (8 MB – 37p.).



  • The Future of European Citizenship
  • Direct Democracy, Referenda and Populism
  • The Free Movement of Persons and Social Solidarity
  • The Global Refugee Emergency
  • The Economic and Monetary Integration of the EU
  • State Secrecy and Security in Europe