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UBI – European Initiative

The ECI-UBI team continues its work independently and contributes to the entire European and also Worldwide Basic Income Movements, under the name of the ‘UBI – European Initiative’. We intend to continue our co-operation based on trust, friendship and solidarity that have been developed over many years while advocating and allocating efforts for implementation of basic income in a joint and coordinated way.
‘UBI – European Initiative’ (Unconditional Basic Income – European Initiative)
Our goal is to introduce unconditional basic income in every country in Europe and the world. UBI (Unconditional Basic Income) is the sum of money paid regularly, unconditionally and universally to all individuals, high enough to ensure their material existence and participation in society. UBI is a step towards an emancipatory welfare system.
Our understanding of co-operation is always based on volunteering, solidarity and respect to each other; both within the ‘UBI – European Initiative’ and also with other bodies and individuals.
As ‘UBI – European Initiative’, as an independent body, we would like to cooperate and join EUMANS, in order to make ‘Unconditional Basic Income’ one of the main points supported by EUMANS.

Letter to Members of the European Parliament about #basicincome

On the 16th of March 2024 a letter has been send to all members of the European Parliament with Questions and an Offer.

Hounorable Member of the European Parliament,

 Unconditional Basic Income – European Initiative is an initiative of activists in the EU and other European countries who participated in the last European Citizens’ Initiative on Basic Income.

Our goal is to introduce an unconditional basic income in every country in Europe and the world. UBI (Unconditional Basic Income) is the amount of money that is paid regularly, unconditionally and universally to all people and is high enough to ensure their material existence and participation in society

The basic income is widely supported in EU countries (see DIW Weekly Report 15/2019)

The final report of the online platform for the Conference on the Future of Europe also emphasises the importance of the topic of basic income. It states:

  • “The unconditional basic income is the most frequently voiced idea.”
  • “One of the most frequently proposed mechanisms to make Europe more inclusive and socially just is to guarantee an unconditional basic income across the EU.”
  • “The most frequently recurring sub-theme, with several ideas highly favoured and commented on, concerns the unconditional basic income, which should guarantee everyone’s ability to participate in society.”

Many civil society organisations in the EU and other European countries are campaigning for a basic income and are drawing attention to the connection between basic income, climate justice and socio-ecological transformation. In this regard, we would like to refer you to the memorandum “Basic income as a necessary component of a socio-ecological transformation and key element for climate justice“. It also shows the broad support that basic income as a component of an urgently needed socio-ecological transformation enjoys in the scientific community, but also in regard to terrifying war going on in Europe and its social consequences.

Against the background of the high level of support, the many activities in favour of the basic income and the great interest of the population in the EU and the scientific community in universal, unconditional, individual and sufficient security, we ask you two questions in the run-up to the elections to the European Parliament and make an offer:

  1. Have your group in parliament or you yourself in the European Parliament undertaken any activities in the last five years to promote the introduction of basic income in accordance with the above criteria in the European Union or to take steps in this direction? If so, which ones? (Please provide links as proof)
  2. Has your party in your home country included the demand for a basic income in accordance with the above criteria, or has it taken steps in this direction, in its programme for the European Parliament elections? (Please provide the specific text and a link to the source)

And here is our offer: Is your party or are you prepared to enter into a dialogue with civil society organisations and academics regarding the possibilities of introducing a basic income in your country? If so, please get in touch with us. We can put you in touch with these organisations and are also available for a discussion.


The membes of European Parliament are requested to reply to these question by e-mail by 20th of April 2024.

The complete letter can be found in the pdf of this letter Unconditional Basic Income – European Initiative – EU-election 2024 – en

On behalf of the Members of the Unconditional Basic Income – European Initiative

UBI and public and social infrastructure

Relationship between UBI and public and social infrastructure and services from emancipatory point of view

  1. Public and social infrastructure and services can be public institutions of education, culture, child, elder and health care, water, electricity, transport and mobility, security and so on. Public and social infrastructure and services are unconditional and universal to all individuals only, if cost-free accessible – Unconditional Basic Services (UBS). The principles of the Unconditional Basic Income (UBI) and of the UBS are the same: unconditional, universal to all individuals, high enough respective sufficient to ensure material existence and enable participation in the society.
  2. In the case of UBS the amount of the UBI has to cover all goods and services for which people still have to pay money to ensure their material existence and participation in society too.
  3. Regarding relative poverty line: In the case of UBS the general income taxes could increase to finance the public infrastructure and services, so the level of the relative poverty line could decrease a little bit (because the relative poverty line ist a net height), the amount of UBI too.[1]
    But in any case, the UBI must have an amount above the relative poverty line of the country in order to eradicate income poverty and minimise income and social inequality in a sustainable way in the country concerned – whether with or without UBS, and also regardless of how the UBS is financed.
    The amount of UBI has to cover all goods and services for which people still have to pay money to ensure their material existence and participation in society too (see chapter 2).
  4. A democratic organising of public and social infrastructure and services is necessary to promote an ecological and emancipatory type of public and social infrastructure and services.
    Only this way paternalistic, anti-emancipatory and unecological infrastructur and services can be prevented. This is one of the lessons of the collapse of “socialist” societies.

Summary:
Public and social infrastructure and services are only emancipatory in the case of unconditionally and universally to all individuals, i. e. cost-free, access to them and in the case of the democratical organising and controlling of UBS.

The Unconditional Basic Income is only emancipatory in the case of an amount which ensured everyone the material existence and participation in society, in the case of an amount above the relative poverty line of the country concerned and in the case of the democratical organising and controlling of UBI.

[1] In the case of financing of UBIs via higher taxes of high(est) income, wealth, finance transaction and so on the level of the relative poverty line would not decrease.

Unconditional Basic Income – Basics 

Unconditional Basic Income – Basics

Content

  1.  What is an emancipatory UBI?
  2. UBI – Redistributive effect from the rich to the poor and the middle class and significant reduction of social and income inequality 
  3. UBI – Decoupling of gainful employment and individual livelihood security
  4. UBI – Recognition, social status and self-esteem independent of gainful employment
  5. UBI – Promoting the empowerment of women
  6. UBI – Promotion of democracy 
  7. UBI – Building a better world

 

  1. What is an emancipatory UBI?
    The UBI (Unconditional Basic Income) is a sum of money paid regularly, unconditionally and universally to all individuals, high enough to ensure their material existence and participation in society. The UBI must have an amount above the relative poverty line of the country in order to eradicate income poverty and minimise income and social inequality in a sustainable way in the country concerned. This level of the basic income is to be checked regularly with suitable reference budgets (basket of goods and services, etc.) with regard to the actual securing of sufficient income to ensure current material existence and participation in society and adjusted upwards if necessary. Only if UBI meets all these criteria can the UBI unfold its emancipatory power and ensures a decent life for all. An emancipatory UBI is also organised and controlled democratically.

    1. We consider the UBI as a human right regardless of whether people “do” something or not. The emancipatory point is: Every human being has the same social rights everywhere, just as well the UBI as a human right worldwide.
    2. The UBI is a step towards an emancipatory social / welfare system. The UBI does not replace public and social infrastructure and services (education, health, energy, public transport, etc.). On the contrary, the UBI goes hand in hand with the expansion and democratisation of unconditionally and universally, i. e. cost-free accessible public and social infrastructure and services. The UBI does not replace public social insurance, but makes it poverty-proof and universal. The emancipatory point is: The welfare system guarantees for everyone a life in dignity and social security.
    3. The UBI strengthens the power of workers and their organisations because it strengthens the bargaining position. The emancipatory point is: Workers can say no and change the bad working conditions.
    4. The UBI strengthens the power of women because it provides an independent income and social security for them. The emancipatory point is: Women can change and improve their life situation and conditions.
    5. The UBI is a step towards a society in which people are free and able to live and work in cooperation with others, for example in solidarity-based and sustainable communities and economies. The emancipatory point is: UBI enable people to build a democratical and ecological society and production. Summary: An UBI is a part of societal regulations which promotes emancipation for everyone, i.e. which promotes the self-determination and controlling of the own life and working conditions.
  2. UBI – Redistributive effect from the rich to the poor and middle class and significant reduction of social and income inequality Redistribution is necessary because in the current economic situation and in the financial system, the gap between the rich and the middle class / poor is widening unless countervailing framework conditions are created. The rich will not become poor through the UBI, but the large gap will be significantly reduced. Poverty and precarity would be eliminated, social and income inequality minimised.
  3. UBI – Decoupling gainful employment and individual livelihoods
    By decoupling gainful employment and individual livelihood, workers / employees have the opportunity to reduce their paid working hours / labour time in order to have more time for their families, social networks, education and interests as well as their political engagement. By decoupling gainful employment and individual livelihood through UBI, new forms of selforganisation and cooperative production can be implemented, which are necessary for the development of ecological and social sustainability.
  4. UBI – Recognition, social status and self-esteem independent of gainful employment
    Childcare and care for elder, disabled and sick persons, housework and self-performed repairs and maintenances, voluntary social work, shaping social relationships and civil society engagement for ecological and social goals, if unpaid, are considered non-value-added (GDP) under current conditions. Without these unpaid works, the social and economic system would collaps. A rethink in the valuation of any work / activity done – whether paid or unpaid – is necessary. The UBI offers the opportunity to carry out unpaid activities of one’s own choice in a secure material existence. UBI promotes recognition, social status and self-esteem independent of gainful employment. We need a change from a working society to a multi-activity, a human- and knowledge-based society, also with enough time for leisure and for a stress-free, healthy life.
  5. UBI – Empowerment of Women
    UBI is one of the important tools to reach gender equality. It ensures every woman material independence from her husband or partner, empowers and enables her to live and act in a selfdetermined and more equal way. Besides the UBI, equal pay für equal work for all genders in gainful employment must be achieved.
  6. UBI – Promotion of democracy
    The UBI provides and opens the way for participation in the democratic social and political life of a country. The UBI forms the economic basis for every person to be able to act in a self-responsible and selfdetermined way, therefore helps to reduce disenchantment with politics and enables people to participate actively.
  7. UBI – Building a better world
    An UBI is a part of the socio-ecological transformation process with the aim of creating a “good life” for all. It promotes the democratic participation of everyone, the reduction of working hours, the engagement in solidarity economies, i.e. the push back of alienated labour and consumerism. Because of the UBI no one need to be afraid of the necessary changes on the way to a society that is in harmony with nature, its protection and preservation.

Download pfd 23-03-01 UBI Basics – english