President Higgins delivered a major speech on European solidarity at the European University Institute in Florence.
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"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.
Under the title “Solidarity in Europe”, the 2018 conference focused on topics including European economic, monetary and fiscal policies, social investment, migration, defence and security, climate change, and energy.
The conference was addressed by four Heads of State: President Mattarella of Italy, President Higgins of Ireland, President Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal and President Pavlopoulos of the Hellenic Republic.
Earlier this year, in speeches in Athens and Dublin, the President pointed to the threats to the European social model and called for a greater role in the debate on the future of Europe for citizens, whose voices are not heard sufficiently. In Florence, the President highlighted the need to reconnect with "the European street" in order to avoid that the future of Europe comes to rest on "a limited conversation between the strongest".
- “Giving the European Union a Future that will Engage Citizens - A Shared Challenge” (January 2018)
- Speech by President Higgins at the Diplomatic Corps 2018 New Year’s Greeting Ceremony (January 2018)
- Speech at a Reception for the European Association of Former Members of Parliament (June 2017)
- Speech at the Diplomatic Corps 2017 New Year’s Greeting Ceremony (January 2017)
- “Creating a New Moment for the European Union: Problems and Prospects” - Address to the Irish Association of Contemporary European Studies. (April 2016)
- “The European Union - Towards a Discourse of Reconnection, Renewal and Hope” (September 2015)
- ‘Towards a European Union of the Citizens’ - Address to the European Parliament (April 2013)