State of Europe


The festival of politics and ideas

State of Europe


State of Europe is a fixture and a highlight of the European calendar. The reason is simple: it is a forum for today’s top leaders from the worlds of politics, business and civil society, from Europe and beyond, to connect, debate and develop ideas on key policy areas that will define Europe’s future. Recommendations sourced from the interactive and fast-paced brainstorms shape and influence EU policy thinking and inform Friends of Europe’s journey towards a Renewed Social Contract for Europe.

Bringing together sitting and former (prime) ministers, civil society leaders, European Commissioners, CEOs and innovative thought leaders, State of Europe offers a new way of working to generate new ideas for a new era. Our vibrant and diverse network of European Young Leaders (#EYL40) and Board of Trustees bring fresh perspective to solving Europe’s problems, while the voice of citizens is heard through our Debating Europe platform.

On the eve of State of Europe, we welcome senior stakeholders for an intimate yet intellectually stimulating and entertaining evening. Co-hosted by Friends of Europe’s President of the Board of Trustees and the Autumn Presidency of the Council of the EU, the President’s Gala Dinner is the occasion for Friends of Europe to welcome thought leaders and changemakers from the worlds of arts and culture to serve up food for thought, challenge us to think differently and set the tone for the next day’s high-level roundtable.

Having tapped into collective wisdom for the past 20 years, the President’s Gala Dinner and State of Europe have evolved into a journey that offers Friends of Europe’s network and partners year-long engagement with the highest levels of European political and thought leadership.

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of State of Europe

As Europe finds itself in the lead up to the 2024 European parliamentary elections, this year’s State of Europe high-level roundtable will focus all of its attention on deliberating 10 policy choices for a Renewed Social Contract for Europe. These will be the result of year-long multisectoral and multi-stakeholder consultations and will take into consideration the voices and opinions of over 2,000 European citizens. The 2023 high-level roundtable will bring together Friends of Europe’s network to:

  • Take stock of the 2019-2024 European Commission mandate
  • Dive into the European Union’s twin transition, digital critical infrastructure roll-out, healthcare systems reforms, internal market, the Ukraine War, the energy and cost-of-living crises, and more
  • Present and discuss ‘Ten policy choices for Renewed Social Contract for Europe’, which will include our social contract ambitions, analysis of the current Commission’s achievements and major trends impacting Europe, as well as expectations in the next EU mandate. We will also offer clear ways forward for the next European mandate to continue building a Europe that is fair, inclusive and sustainable

Making sense of transitions in an age of crises: a Renewed Social Contract for a new era

The 2022 edition of State of Europe delivered an unequivocal message on the need for the West to maintain support for Ukraine’s resistance to Russian aggression. The roundtable identified six policy areas that will be critical to focus on building the Renewed Social Contract: poverty and social inequality; the just transition; health; digital inclusion; employment, skills and education; and leveraging taxation.

“The fact that [State of Europe] opened with three individuals and their stories changed everything. And the choice of other speakers were such a welcome blast of wisdom from outside of the bubble and outside Europe, and from a political perspective that knows all about the dangers of letting democracy go.”
– Laura Sullivan, Executive Director of WeMove Europe

State of Europe 2022

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