Europe and the EU

State of the Union Conference 2019
25 Jan 2019 08:45 - 18:15
Source: Duncan Hull / Flickr

#SotEU19: Re-uniting Europe? Between geopolitical tensions and domestic constraints

This conference was organised by the Clingendael Institute in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Parliament. The full photostream of the conference can be viewed here

The 'State of the Union Conference' 2019 featured a high-level reflection on the future of the European Union (EU).

Internal and external pressures continue to destabilise the European project. Changes in the geopolitical environment, ranging from an endangered transatlantic relationship, great power rivalries and continuous migration pressure necessitate comprehensive solutions that reaffirm the EU’s role in the world.

Simultaneously, the EU needs to secure its internal unity, especially in the light of the upcoming parliamentary elections. Yet, it is far from clear what reforms should look like and many questions are still unanswered. This high-level conference brought together EU officials, civil society representatives, business and opinion leaders as well as academics who critically reflected upon topics such as EU migration policies, the future of EMU, the geopolitics of EU-Asia, Hungary, social Europe, the opinion of the European citizens, European Strategic Autonomy, the 2019 European elections.

The conference was opened by Monika Sie Dhian Ho. Keynote speakers were Dominique Moïsi, Visiting Research Professor at King's College-London and Special Advisor to Institut Montaigne, Bas Eickhout, Member of the European Parliament and 'Spitzenkandidat' for the European Greens, Nathalie Tocci, Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica Mogherini, and Thijs van der Plas, Director-General European Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following the keynote speeches, two rounds of break-out sessions were held with amongst others Maria Demertzis (Bruegel Institute), Kati Piri (Member of Parliament), László Andor (Former EU Commissioner), and Antonio Villafranca (ISPI).