Dear friends! With your help, we can put unconditional basic income on the agenda of the European Union in 2017.
Much has changed since 2013 when we started collecting signatures for unconditional basic income in the EU. Once regarded as an exotic idea, basic income has featured on the front pages of national newspapers, in the manifestos of political parties and in debates in national parliaments and EU institutions. Switzerland voted, Finland started its pilots in January, and other experiments are being prepared in the Netherlands, France, Scotland and Spain.
All this makes our task more exciting, but also more challenging. It’s not just about spreading the idea of basic income anymore. We also have to develop concrete policy proposals and convince policy makers.
In the past years, Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE) has brought together experts, campaigners and passionate supporters, who started to explore concepts like the Eurodividend (a partial basic income for all Europeans), EU support for basic income experiments, agrarian basic income, or a European child benefit. And we have taken these ideas to decision makers in the European Parliament and the European Commission.
But we want to step up our activities. We need to seize the current opportunities and push basic income more actively into political debates in Brussels and across the EU. Even with lots of volunteer time going into UBIE’s efforts, it comes down to this: To become more effective, we need more resources.
The new board of UBIE has put forward an ambitious work plan for this year. In the coming months, together with all active members of UBIE and our supporters, we aim to:
- Reach out to other European organisations working for a just society in order to build productive partnerships;
- Strengthen our lobbying capacity in Brussels by hiring an EU Liaison Officer so we can continuously inject basic income into the EU’s legislative work;
- Develop active working relationships with key Members of the European Parliament from all major political groups;
- Start working on a campaign for 2018-19 to target candidates in the next European Election and broaden citizens’ support for basic income.
In order to achieve this, we intend to:
- Improve our visibility by re-launching our website, sending more regular newsletters to you, producing a promotional leaflet for UBIE, and intensifying our media activities;
- Develop our volunteer base, identify partner organisations and active contact points for UBIE in all EU Member States;
- Find at least 5 partner regions across Europe to ask the European Commission for co-financing and monitoring parallel basic income experiments;
- Organise 3 workshops on EU-level policy debates on issues where basic income can be part of the solution, and create a new online magazine to intervene in ongoing policy discussions;
- Organise a conference to refine our Eurodividend proposal.
To work on the tasks above, we would like to bring together basic income activists for a creative weekend this summer. We are also organising the next meeting of Unconditional Basic Income Europe alongside the 2017 BIEN Congress in Lisbon, to enhance cooperation between basic income advocates globally.
UBIE is in a unique position to become a strong voice for basic income advocates in Brussels and to support those lobbying on national or regional levels.
We have the right people and the right ideas – with your support we can bring basic income into the corridors of power in Brussels and elsewhere!
We can’t just lean back and wait until history does its job and basic income becomes inevitable. Because it also matters what kind of basic income we get, eventually. As the current experiments in Finland and those proposed in the Netherlands show, basic income can be also used as a pretext to lower social protection – that’s not what we want. UBIE is fighting for improving existing social security and creating chances for all members of our societies.
Together, let’s promote the debate in the European Union on a progressive basic income model that allows people to regain the lost control over their own time, their own lives! Together, let’s give a loud voice to all Europeans fighting for for a more just, peaceful and equitable world! Together, let’s act to transform the dream of generations of dignity, sufficiency and peace into real policies in Europe!
From each according to their abilities – even the smallest donation counts!
And, please, don’t forget to pass on this article to friends who share our vision.
Aurélie, Anja, Ulrich, Dániel and Lena
(The Board of Unconditional Basic Income Europe)