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The State of the Union goes online to discuss COVID-19


07 May 2020



On 8 May 2020, the European University Institute will host a special online edition of its The State of the Union Conference. Policy-makers, scholars, and experts will discuss how Europe is managing the COVID-19 crisis, and the impact of the pandemic on health policies, the international economic outlook, and global cooperation.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and European Council President Charles Michel are among the prominent speakers.

In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the lives of billions of people across the world. Health care systems are struggling, and lockdown measures are affecting social life and the economy in an unprecedented way.

While the world is trying to make sense of the emergency, The State of the Union Conference will gather experts from all over the world to discuss the implications of COVID-19 in three live- streamed webinars.

The morning session (from 10:00 CEST), COVID-19: Health Policy and Society, will be opened by EUI President Renaud Dehousse, followed by institutional welcomes by Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, Enrico Rossi, Governor of the Region of Tuscany, and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio. The opening speeches will be followed by the first panel debate, moderated by Ellen M. Immergut, featuring Andrea Ammon, Dorit Nitzan and Xuejie Yu.

The afternoon session (from 13:00 CEST), COVID-19: Economic Policies for the Aftermath, will be opened by a high-level address by Christine Lagarde, followed by a conversation between European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and Financial Times Editor Roula Khalaf. This in turn will be followed by a panel debate between OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone , former Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, and LSE Professor Ricardo Reis. The panel will be moderated by George Papaconstantinou.

The evening session (17:30 CEST) will be opened by Kristalina Georgieva in conversation with FT’s Roula Khalaf. The third and final panel debate, COVID-19: Global Cooperation, will be moderated by Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Italian Institute for International Affairs, and will feature Prof. Jeffrey Sachs from Columbia University, former Finnish PM and new Director of the EUI’s School of Transnational Governance Alexander Stubb, and Mari E. Pangestu, Managing Director for Development and Partnerships at the World Bank. The closing high-level address of the conference will be delivered by Giuseppe Conte.

The event will be livestreamed at from Friday 8 May, 10:00 CEST. END

The livestream of the event is accessible at without previous registration. Alternatively, you can register for the conference and follow on a more interactive platform, which will allow you to submit questions in writing. Please note that due to the high number of distinguished participants it will not be possible to answer all of the questions during the live debate. Questions sent in advance via e-mail will be shared with the moderators for their consideration for the Q&A:

The State of the Union Conference – Special Online Edition “Europe: managing the COVID-19 crisis”

8 May 2020, 10 AM CEST


The State of the Union is an annual event for reflection on the European Union. It is organised by the European University Institute and takes place in Florence each May. Over the past ten years, The State of the Union has become a key reference point for EU policy-makers, civil society representatives, diplomats, business and opinion leaders, and academics. Previous speakers include Presidents, Prime Ministers, and the heads of the European Institutions. The State of the Union is a unique forum where a diverse group of key actors can gather to debate and reflect, together, on Europe’s most pressing issues. In times of crisis or instability, such a nuanced understanding of the EU’s successes, failures and challenges is crucial.

The organisation of The State of the Union is made possible thanks to the support of its partners. @EUISoU #SOUCOVID19


Roeland Scholtalbers

Communication specialist Email: Mobile: +39 351 644 10 13

Elena Torta

Communication specialist Email: Mobile: +39 3495202304

Marco Incerti

Director, COM Service

E-mail: Mobile: +39327158705



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