Unconditional basic income for all Europeans


A movement to give every citizen “unconditional basic income”—no work required—is gathering speed in Europe. 

For the last 11 months, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)  has been spearheading a one-year campaign to gather a million signatures that support “Unconditional Basic Income (UBI)” for all Europeans.

The ECI wants everyone to have a basic, guaranteed wage, which is enough to cover day-to-day expenses.

If they collect one million signatures reaching the minimum requirement from at least 7 European Union (EU) member countries by January 14 2014, the European Commission will have to examine their initiative and arrange for a public hearing at the European Parliament.

In the short term, they want to do some “pilot-studies” and examine different models of UBI. In the long run, their objective is to offer to each person in the EU the unconditional right as an individual, to have their material needs met to ensure a life of dignity by the introduction of the UBI.

The Basic Income proposal is being presented by citizens from 15 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom).

Video courtesy http://globalvoicesonline.org

This Friday on GV Face I speak to activists gathering signatures and raising awareness about the need for Basic Income. 

Stanislas Jourdan | Main coordinator for European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income in France

Martin Jordö | Main coordinator forEuropean Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income in Sweden

Carlos Arias| Global Voices Contributor in Spain

Anne-Béatrice Duparc | Switzerland

Barb Jacobson | UK

I asked them about developments in the campaign so far, how UBI would tackle inequality and how much such a scheme might cost.

For more information check out the Basic Income EU websiteFacebook page and Twitter account.

Written by Sahar Habib Ghazi

This article is republished from GlobalVoicesOnline.org under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence

Featured image basicincome2013.eu

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  1. The American alternative is Unconditional Maximum Income (and total political control) for the few; while the rest can sink or swim based on luck, race and clawing one's way to the top of the meat pile.

    So much for "being responsible."

  2. I would add the right for the piece of land, as it is in Russia from 90ies. as a russian U can ask govt. for a land up to 30ha to farm or to use it as a summer resort. this land is for free and tax-free as well. proly not possible in small countries…

  3. Collectivism is a political theory associated with communism. More broadly, it is the idea that people should prioritize the good of society over the welfare of the individual.

    Collectivism — so closely related to the word collection — has to do with political theories that put the group before the individual. In a collectivist system, power should be in the hands of the people as a whole, not in the hands of a few powerful folks. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Ideally, in a collectivist society, decisions benefit all the people. This is a difficult idea to put into practice, as seen in the attempted collectivist society of Soviet communism

  4. No. Just no. We don't need lazy people living off others. We need responsiblity. People need to be responsible for their life, and know how to take care of themselves. Some things can be provided like a small house, limited water and electricity, and a community garden/farm. But handing out cash is not going to do any good, because some people will abuse the system.

  5. I would never support a movement like this. What a strange concept. Let's give people enough money to live off of and see how many want to work more in order to make more. Isn't this just a nicer name for 'welfare?' And who will decide how much is enough for basics like shelter and food and clothing? I would support a movement to provide citizens with access to land to farm and be self sustainable on. The old saying goes, give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll feed the whole village… Why give people money to buy things? Just give them the land they need to produce things instead, I'd rather see tax payer dollars to towards providing people the ability to provide for themselves, rather than tax payers funding handouts and encouraging laziness.

    1. You must be american. the only ones using the word 'welfare' as if it was something bad, are americans. Which is incidentally the ONLY country in the world with 40 million homeless, 160 million at poverty level and having to juggle 2 jobs or food stamps to get by, among all the 'developed' countries.

      The best answer to your nonsense of 'if you give money to people, they wont work' comes from Noam chomsky – he says that at MIT (Massachusetts institute of technolgy – worlds #1 engineering university and research center by the way), there are a lot of scientists who can work elsewhere for heaps of money, however they just keep working there despite the little money they are given – because they love what they are doing.

      assuming that money is the motivation for activity and work is morondom. and it can only be produced, conditioned and enforced by a system which requires it to survive – capitalism. And, they are doing that consciously :


  6. I don’t live there but I would vote for the people … I believe this will take place … I wrote a full scale plan over 30 years ago expressing the exact same thing … this would be a step in the fair and good direction for humanity … a step in the direction of a world so proclaimed by Captain Picard … where people are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. Where hunger, want, and the need for possessions have been illuminated …. And as Picard said … a world that has grown out of our infancy … and where the challenge of every man woman and child … is to improve themselves. To enrich themselves. And to simply enjoy their lives … this is what the CREATOR intended for mainstream …

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