SLOVENIA: Basic Income advocate Valerija Korosec makes bid for Presidency
Slovenian basic income advocate Dr. Valerija Korošec has announced her bid to run in her country’s presidential election on October 22, 2017.
Basic income is the main pillar of her independent candidacy, which also includes e-direct democracy and gender parity.
Korošec made the announcement at a July meeting of Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE), BIEN’s European affiliate. To officially run in the election, she needs to collect 5,000 signatures before the 26th of September.
Korošec, a sociologist and social policy analyst at Slovenia’s Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development, is the author of “Predlog UTD v Sloveniji: Zakaj in kako” (“UBI Proposal in Slovenia: Why and How”), which she presented in English at BIEN’s 2012 Congress in Munich, and the co-editor of the book UTD v Sloveniji (UBI in Slovenia).
She is also Slovenia’s representative in BIEN, and a member of both UBIE and BIEN’s Slovenian affiliate, Sekcija za promocijo UTD.
Basic income has enjoyed a surge of interest in Slovenia in recent years.
In 2013, Slovenia was the second EU nation to attain the required level of support the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) for Unconditional Basic Income. Ultimately, the ECI failed to obtain the number of signatures required across Europe for the EU to consider UBI. However, it helped to cultivate lasting awareness of UBI among Slovenians.
In 2016, UBI received a further boost in interest in the country due to international headline events such as Switzerland’s vote on a referendum to establish a nationwide basic income, and the Finnish government’s launch of an experiment to test the effects of an unconditional basic income for the unemployed.
One particularly notable event occurred on October 17, 2016–the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty–when Sekcija za promocijo UTD joined the Slovenian Red Cross and Slovenian Philanthropy, an organization encompassing many charities, in signing the Coalition Against Poverty, accepting the idea that only a basic income can fight poverty efficiently.
In June 2017, Alenka Bratušek, a former Prime Minister now serving as a Member of Parliament, convened a meeting on basic income in Slovenia’s National Assembly.
The occasion marked the second time debate about the idea has been held in a national representative body in Slovenia, with the first having been held in the National Council in 2011. At the National Assembly meeting, three basic income advocates–including Korošec, Dr. Igor Pribac, and Sebastjan Pikl–presented arguments in favor of the implementation of the policy.
Those present voted unanimously to request the government to produce a feasibility analysis of basic income by the end of the year.
At this time, new candidates are still declaring their bids for the Slovenian presidential race.
Polls show incumbent president Borut Pahor as a clear frontrunner, unbeatable by any major political party. In Korošec’s view, joining the election as a basic income candidate has the potential not only to spread the idea to more Slovenians but also to show politicians that the idea can have a substantial impact on the election–which might affect not only this year’s presidential election but also next year’s parliamentary race.
Draft of article reviewed by Valerija Korošec; additional copyediting by Russell Ingram.
Top photo: Ljubljana, Slovenia CC BY-NC 2.0 Gilad Rom