On the 28th of November, 29 members of the European Parliament from 12 different European Countries issued a joint statement (pdf) expressing their support for the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) for Unconditional Basic Income. This calls upon the European Commission to assess the idea of reforming current national social security arrangements towards an unconditional basic income (UBI).
NB: As of december 25th, 34 MEPs have signed the statement of support.
UBI is a regular, universal payment to everyone without means-testing or work conditions. It should be high enough to guarantee everyone a dignified existence. It would let people make choices about what to do in life without fear of poverty. It would act as a cushion for the increasing numbers of people who have short-term or zero-hour contracts, and those starting up their own businesses.
Many financing schemes have been elaborated over the years in several countries. The European Initiative for UBI is asking for further studies to be started at the EU level.
MEPs ask all Europeans to support this initiative. All EU citizens eligible to vote can support this ECI either via the internet (http://sign.basicincome2013.eu) or on paper. One million signatures are needed by 14 January 2014 to make sure it lands on the EC’s desk.
The current social security systems are demeaning and inadequate in addressing the roots of poverty, the MEPs emphasize.
“Unconditional Basic Income would transform social security from a compensatory system into an emancipatory system, one that trusts people to make their own decisions, and does not stigmatise them for their circumstances,” the statement says.
“We believe a new form of social security is urgently needed as social security systems in individual countries become increasingly conditional and punitive, they undermine individual dignity, form barriers to civic participation and deepen divisions in European society both across and within national borders.”
They also said this new form of social security is far simpler than existing (often chaotic and burdensome) systems, would help balance income disparities and could help mitigate the social and racial tensions caused by economic migration.
The Organizing Committee of the European Citizens Initiative congratulates the MEPs’ for their commitment and is looking forward to getting further support in the EU parliament, where it will hold a conference on the 9th of december.
[update 29/11] Olga SEHNALOVÁ, Keith TAYLOR, Bart STAES and Yves COCHET also brought their support.
[update 30/11] Isabelle DURANT signed the statement
[update 05/12] Jean-Paul BESSET and Nicole KIIL-NIELSEN joined their support
[update 17/12] Hélène FLAUTRE and Sirpa PIETIKAÏNEN joined their support
[update 25/12]Tanja FAJON signed the statement.
Martin EHRENHAUSER, independent (Austria)
Philippe LAMBERTS, Greens (Belgium)
Isabelle DURANT, Greens (Belgium)
Bart STAES, Greens (Belgium)
Nikola VULJANIĆ, Left (Croatian)
Olga SEHNALOVÁ, Social Democrats (Czech Republic)
Tarja CRONBERG, Greens (Finland)
Satu HASSI, Greens (Finland)
Sirpa Pietikäinen, Christian Democrats (Finland)
Catherine GREZE, Greens (France)
Eva JOLY, Greens (France)
José BOVÉ, Greens (France)
Karima DELLI, Greens (France)
Jean-Paul BESSET, Greens (France)
Nicole KIIL-NIELSEN, Greens (France)
Hélène Flautre, Greens (France)
Yves COCHET, Greens (France)
Malika BENARAB-ATTOU, Greens (France)
Michèle RIVASI, Greens (France)
Gerald HÄFNER, Greens (Germany)
Ska KELLER, Greens (Germany)
Nikos CHRISOGELOS, Greens (Greece)
Brian CROWLEY, ALDE (Ireland)
Emer COSTELLO, Social Democrats (Ireland)
Liam AYLWARD, ALDE (Ireland)
Nessa CHILDERS, independent (Ireland)
Sean KELLY, Christian Democrats (Ireland)
Pat the Cope Callagher, ALDE (Ireland)
Georges BACH, Christian Democrats (Luxembourg)
Claude TURMES, Greens (Luxembourg)
Tanja FAJON, Socialists & Democrats (Slovenja)
Carl SCHLYTER, Greens (Sweden)
Jean LAMBERT, Greens (UK)
Keith TAYLOR, Greens (UK)
Additional info / available for further comments
PDF Joint Statement of Support
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