Saturday the 7th of May marked the end of the State of the Union 2016 conference in Florence Italy, which the Florence International Mediation Chamber was proud to be a sponsor of. The event was a huge success, marking the 6th anniversary of this singular event. Eminent political leaders, members from civil society, personalities from the business world and opinion leaders joined selected individuals from the outstanding body of academics at the European University Institute (EUI) to discuss the current state of affairs and the future prospects of the European Union. This year, the focus of the conference was on “Women in Europe and the World”. This theme was tackled throughout the conference by various panelists and key speakers whom addressed the issues that Europe faces today with refugees, migration and citizenship, employment and social affairs, gender equality and women’s empowerment, the role of women in conflict and peacemaking as well as sexual and reproductive Politics. Such individuals included Professor Ruth Rubio Marín from the EUI, who delivered a moving speech on the social situation of women in Europe today. She challenged the status of women in Europe as well as revealed the hard truths that thousands of women suffer through every day. Prominent members of the Italian government also spoke at the introductory session on the morning of Friday the 6th of May to welcome all those who came from around the world to attend this important event, as well as to thank the EUI for their role in the creation of the event . These included Dario Nardella the mayor of Florence, Enrico Rossi the president of the region of Tuscany and Leonardo Bassilichi the president of the Florence Chamber of Commerce. Later that same day the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi delivered a speech to the attendees of the event, expressing his hopes and fears for Europe’s future, as well as the progress Europe has made in recent years. It was an event both celebrating and evaluating of the successes and failures of the European Union to date. We can only hope that through events like the State of the Union, the EU will continue to grow and prosper.