The European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income calls upon the European Commission to explore the idea of reforming national social security systems towards an unconditional basic income (UBI).
This European-wide campaign has been launched in 17 European Union countries. The aim is to raise a million signatures from Europeans, in order to place this topic on the European Commission agenda, requiring it to study the idea seriously and find ways of implementing it.
A similar campaign in Switzerland already had a tremendous success. It gathered 116,000 signatures and as a result a referendum will be held, which is expected to be successful.
The ECI for Unconditional Basic Income is not affiliated with any organization or political party and is completely dependent on volunteering, with its organizers coming from a wide range of political perspectives and social backgrounds.
Unconditional basic income is defined as an income that is "universal, individual, unconditional and high enough to ensure an existence with dignity and participation in society". An unconditional basic income will be given to all citizens in addition to other income they might receive.
The initiative states that the net basic income should, at a minimum, be at the poverty-risk level according to EU standards, which corresponds to 60% of the national median net equivalent income. In countries with a low median income, an alternative benchmark should be used to determine the amount of the basic income.
Many studies on the feasibility of a basic income have been conducted (see for example: http://basicincome.org/bien/papers.html) and awareness towards the need of an unconditional basic income has been raised on a national level in Europe (see for example, https://www.facebook.com/BasicIncomeUK). However, this has not been successful so far. The initiative aims to join forces on a European level.
As of the 2nd of December, 29 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), from 12 different countries, have signed a statement of support for the initiative. They underline the need for a new form of social security. Furthermore, they state than an unconditional basic income would transform social security from a compensatory system into an emancipatory system. An unconditional basic income creates an equal opportunity for all citizens to fulfill their potential. The MEPs agree on the need for further study and evidence to prove the practicality of establishing a basic income and to explore different models for its implementation.
(The organising committee of the European Citizens Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income thanks the MEPs for their commitment and is looking forward to getting further support in the European Parliament where a conference on the subject will be held on 9th December.)
deadline for reaching the one million signatures for this Citizens’ Initiative
is 14 January 2014. All EU citizens, who are able to vote in the European
Parliament elections, can sign a Citizens’ Initiative. Click here to sign the initiative.
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