State of the Union 2018, Florence

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.

The European project “Message to Europeans 3.0” was represented at the high-level conference “The State of the Union” by its two ambassadors, Lucia Salierno, Student Leader of the project, and Vittorio Emanuele Agostinelli, Project Assistant of EucA.

The European University Institute was honored with the presence of three heads of state: Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic; Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland; and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese Republic. Each presented their perspectives on the various levels and facets of solidarity in Europe, the theme of 2018 conference.

Distinguished academics, practitioners, and members of civil society also joined the discussion, with panels ranging from EMU, development and humanitarian aid strategies, energy and climate change, social investment, immigration and EU foreign, security and defense policies.

Vittorio and Lucia had the opportunity to share the first draft of the three resolutions of the project with the European leaders and policy makers Antonio Tajani, President of the EP, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU and Mario Draghi, President of the ECB.

They received two exhortations for the young Europeans: to be brave and to be creative!


– The Message of Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament

“Solidarity is a core value of the European union. We need more solidarity dealing with the issue of asylum seekers, looking at social union inside the EU and especially in the eurozone. We need more people feeling that Europe is dealing with them. We are pursuing solidarity, but we need more of that.”


“It is important while we discuss the future of the EU, we focus on how to pursue more social equality through our programmes, Then pursue some more radical more bold ideas, it is absolutely crucial to have more policies for social cohesion and social equality as an objective more achieved and more pursued through the European policies.”


- The Message of Laszlo Andor, Former European Commissioner

“Most people think about solidarity between countries, I would like to highlight the solidarity between generations.”


“It is very important that the young people represent themselves and express their needs, wishes and ideas. “


“The message is to remain active, to remain visible and to be serious, not only to express contents or satisfactions or be like the indignados when something is not working, but to come up with concrete analysis and good proposals.”