A press conference in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, today, turning the spotlights on “The State of the Union 2018”, an event that, now in its eighth year, will bring academicians and politicians to Fiesole and Florence to discuss “Solidarity in Europe”. It will start in Fiesole on Thursday May 10th with eight workshops to reflect on solidarity in the worlds of finance, energy, development and welfare, climate change and social inclusion, and European foreign policy and security. In Florence the next day, some of these issues will be addressed again by the guest speakers, such as the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, the president of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, and the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, as well as official leaders from France, Greece, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Portugal. This year’s opening address will be given by Ellen Immergut, who will show the results of a three-year survey on welfare, called “the futures of welfare: what role for solidarity?”. The day before Europe Day, Renaud Dehousse, president of the EUI, the European University Institute, which is the organiser of the event, stated: “We are going through a very tense and stormy time on European issues, and that’s why we need to talk about it”; but, “if there were no Europe, despite all its faults, we would be even worse off”.