EUI State of the Union Conference

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Europe in a Changing World

The next edition of The State of the Union will take place in Florence between Thursday 6 May and Saturday 8 May 2021. The forthcoming edition will mark the tenth anniversary of the European University Institute’s flagship conference which over the past decade has firmly established itself as a key forum for discussion and debate on the most pertinent issues facing Europe and Europeans.

We will celebrate this historic occasion with a dynamic hybrid event which will bring together world leaders, diplomats, policy makers, academics, and civil society representatives to debate and reflect on the theme ‘Europe in a Changing World’ before a global audience.

The conference will address the challenges and opportunities for Europe amidst rising concerns over global commons and the climate emergency, a shifting economic and geopolitical power balance, major challenges to multilateralism, and the ongoing global battle against COVID-19.

Europe’s role on the global stage will be tackled across sessions on artificial intelligence, climate, geopolitics, the global economy, multilateralism, peace and human rights, public health, and strategic autonomy.

On 6 May 2021 at 15:00-15:50 BST/16:00 – 16:50 CEST, ELAC's Senior Research Fellow Emanuela-Chiara Gillard will be speaking on the panel Peace and Human Rights: EU sanctions: what’s their place in the world? The Panel will be opened by Sarah Nouwen, Chair and Professor of Public International Law, EUI, and moderated by Neha Jain, Professor, Public International Law, EUI. Along with Emanuela, Betty Bigombe, Senior Director, Fragility, Conflict and Violence, World Bank Group, and Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, European Commission, will be speaking. This panel focuses on EU sanctions as an instrument to promote human rights and peace. But it questions how significant a player is the EU in the international sanctions regime. Does it set the standard or follow others, such as the US and the UN? What’s the added value of autonomous EU sanctions? Do they have a “Brussels effect”? Who feels threatened, who feels the pain? How effective are the EU’s sanctions in promoting human rights and peace? Are they “smart” enough?

The two-day conference will be complemented by a dedicated youth and civil society event celebrating Europe Day. The live show in Fiesole, a small town overlooking Florence, is co-funded by the European Parliament. #SOU4YOU – Bringing the State of the Union Closer to Citizens will take place on 8 May. Expect music, theatre, debate and much more!

Register here.