Join us in making waves across Europe, <<First Name>>!
Looking back in a few years' time, will we see 2016 as the breakthrough year when basic income started to make headlines around Europe? We have already seen an unprecedented level of interest on the discussions around the Swiss referendum and the Finish pilots – and the year is not even over yet!
In this newsletter, we are happy to say there have been further positive developments, not just the exciting International Basic Income Week events around the globe, but also high-level attention from the European Parliament and the European Commission.
First of all, we are happy to announce that the Unconditional Basic Income Europe network, is seizing this promising political opportunity to professionalise our activities by raising funds for our operations and meetings.
Thanks to your continued support and volunteer work, we are close to getting basic income considered as a realistic policy choice. And we can get there, if we manage to build on this momentum. All we need is to step up the efficiency of our network, to make sure that we can develop, share and promote concrete policy proposals both on European and national level.
Want to get more active in the discussion how to achieve this? Join us at the next UBIE meeting in Madrid, 14-16 October! You find more details on this gathering – co-hosted by the Spanish network Marea Básica – further below.
Unconditionally hopeful regards from your UBIE core group, Quentin Fabry, Dániel Fehér, Barb Jacobson, Lena Stark & Nicole Teke
Basic Income Week 2016
The 9th International Week of Unconditional Basic Income has once again exceeded expectations with events organised in more than 24 countries on 5 continents. On the central homepage, you can check out what kind of initiatives took place in your area and get into touch with the initiators.
Among many inspiring discussions, this Basic Income Week saw two meetings that promote stronger regional cooperation among basic income supporters. Activists from Austrian, Hungarian and Slovenian basic income groups met this weekend in Budapest to explore opportunities for a more intensive exchange of experience and campaigning ideas. At the same time, Copenhagen hosted the first "Nordic Conference on Basic Income Pilots", organised by BIEN Denmark in cooperation with UBIE. Reports on both events will be available soon on the UBIE website – stay tuned in!
European Parliament publishes research paper on basic income
The European Parliament's in-house think tank has, just ahead of Basic Income Week, released a briefing paper on (unconditional) basic income. The publication mentions Unconditional Basic Income Europe as one of the influential civil society networks that ensured this debate has been brought to the attention of the EU institutions.
The study notes that "in order to cope with increased inequality and poverty, the topic of (unconditional) basic income has been attracting attention in Europe" as well as pointing out that "in a recent representative poll, 64% [of Europeans] were in favour of a basic income".
The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) provides independent analysis of relevant EU policy issues to Members of the European Parliament. Their publications are not official positions, but help to shape the policy debates within the EP.
European Commissioner for Social Affairs joins the basic income discussion
A few days ago, the EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs confirmed to euractiv.com that, within the framework of the upcoming review of the EU's social pillar, the European Commission is aware of the debates on basic income and “is following with great interest the developments” around the Finnish pilot project. It might be the first time ever that a EU Commissioner has publicly discussed unconditional basic income. Marianne Thyssen seems to find it appealing that universal basic income could eliminate some bureaucratic roadblocks and gaps in existing social benefit coverage.
Unconditional Basic Income Europe intends to keep playing a substantive role in the civil society dialogue on the future of European social policy. Among other efforts, UBIE's volunteers and experts are currently working on a contribution to the Commission's ongoing Social Pillar consultation. We are also continuing projects on pilots and the Eurodividend to ensure that our proposals have practical results.
UBIE meeting in Madrid
The next network meeting of Unconditional Basic Income Europe will take place in Madrid, 14-16 October, 2016. The UBIE meeting will start on Friday evening and continue throughout Saturday. Saturday afternoon, participants will be able to attend the March for the Eradication of Poverty. On Sunday morning, there will be a public round table discussion on basic income with BIEN Co-Chair Karl Widerquist and other invited guests from Switzerland, France and Iceland. Marea Basica will have its own meeting in the afternoon which anyone is welcome to join.
If you are interested in attending this meeting, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
BIEN 30th anniversary meeting in Louvain-la-Neuve
In September 1986, a small group of academics and trade unionists met for the first gathering of basic income supporters from across Europe. Pleasantly surprised to discover how many people were interested in an idea, the participants decided to set up the Basic Income European Network (BIEN). This was rebaptised at its 2004 Barcelona congress as "Basic Income Earth Network" to reflect the growing global interest.
Unconditional Basic Income Europe needs your support!
UBIE is not funded by any organisation, government or charity. Even with the dedicated work of many volunteers across Europe, it takes money to keep our network growing, get the word out and develop new projects. Your donation, however big or small, will make a huge difference towards making unconditional basic income a reality for all in Europe - and beyond.