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).
This Friday on GV Face I spoke to activists gathering signatures and raising awareness about the need for Basic Income:
Stanislas Jourdan joined us from Paris. He's the main coordinator for European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income in France
Martin Jordö joined us from Göteborg. He's the main coordinator for European Citizens’ Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income in Sweden.
Carlos Arias joined us from Madrid. He's a Global Voices contributor in Spain.
Anne-Béatrice Duparc joined us from Geneva, Switzerland.
Barb Jacobson joined us from London. She's the main coordinator for European Citizens’ Initiative in for Unconditional Basic Income in the UK.
I asked them about developments in the campaign so far, how UBI would tackle inequality and how much such a scheme might cost.
Here's a link to our Google + event page for this episode of GV Face.