According to the press release of the Pirate Party from the December 3, 2011, the party argued about and adopted a resolution in support of Basic Income and minimum wages at its party convention in Offenbach.

After a debate, which took about two hours, the motion “Unconditional Basic Income and Minimum Wages” was carried by 66.9 percent and reached the necessary supermajority. The result shows the long, engaged and controversial discussion. Now the motion is part of the election manifesto for the next federal elections in 2013 in Germany.

The party understands the Unconditional Basic Income as: Insurance for the existence and social participation, as well as a guaranteed individual legal title without means test, compulsion to work or any other reward. Because its implementation will be a change of the paradigm in welfare policy, the launch of a public discussion beforehand is necessary. For that reason, the Pirate Party wants to fund an enquiry commission within the German Bundestag to workout new and evaluate existing models. One of the models should be elected by a national referendum. Until the implementation of an Unconditional Basic Income, the Pirate Party endorses a federal legal minimum wage.

According to GoogleNews more than 600 articles were published on this topic, including by leading nationwide newspapers. One of them, the Süddeutsche, spoke with Sebastian Nerz, the party leader, about Basic Income. He said, he was not convinced, even if he know, that it might be possible. But he wished, that the Party would have dealt with a more concrete model beforehand.

This article says further that Nerz is not alone with his opinion, because a few other members were concerned that the motion was too universal. On the one hand, it says nothing about the amount of the Basic Income (could be 500 or 2.000 Euro). On the other hand, it is not clear how to fund the scheme and which influence it would have on the political economy.

In another interview with Christian Engström, Member of the European Parliament for the Swedish Pirate Party, from the 15th November 2011 with he was asked, which issues are especially important to be addressed on a supranational level and which issues are more relevant for the national level. He answered, that topics as a Basic Income, possession of soft drugs and free public transport, are more national and even regional issues of the German Pirates.

-Joerg Drescher

For articles on this topic go to:
Press release of the Pirate Party:
Article in the Süddeutsche:
Interview with Christian Engström:

About Yannick Vanderborght

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