2020 Korea Basic Income Fair International Conference

2020 Korea Basic Income Fair International Conference

The original plan was for an international conference in Korea in February 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic caused the event to be postponed. An international conference has now been held online, and a wide range of speakers and discussants from around the world have contributed.

Session 1 was on ‘steppingstones to Basic Income: pilots and trials’; and session 2 was about Basic Income financing strategies. The sessions can be seen here.

Session 3 was about modern capitalism, modern life, and Basic Income; session 4 about Basic Income, local currency, and regional economy; and session 5 about the welfare state crisis and Basic Income. Sessions 3, 4 and 5 can be seen here.

A new European Citizens’ Initiative begins to collect signatures

A new European Citizens’ Initiative begins to collect signatures

On 25 September, the collection of statements of support for the European Citizens’ Initiative will begin, with the ultimate aim of establishingUnconditional Basic Incomes throughout the European Union, in all 27 member states.

In particular, the initiative calls on the European Commission to submit to the appropriate institutions its proposal for the introduction of an Unconditional Basic Income while remaining within the competences conferred to the EU by the Treaties. 

The signatories only support the launch of the introduction process, but do not prescribe to the Commission exactly how the implementation of the UBI should take place.

 If a citizens’ initiative receives at least one million statements of support during one year and the number of supporters in seven or more EU countries exceeds the national quota, the European Commission must start work on implementing the initiative’s proposal. The Commission may then recommend that the Council of the EU formulate an UBI-related draft for the broad guidelines of the economic policies of the Member States and of the Union and report its findings to the European Council. On the basis of the conclusion of the European Council, the Council of the EU may adopt a recommendation setting out those broad guidelines.

With about 7% of the world population involved, this ECI is considered to be the largest UBI-campaign ever in the world. It will be held in 27 EU member states, with 24 different official languages (plus, with more than 60 indigenous languages), addressing a total population of around 450 million. 

This is the second ECI about UBI. The first one was held in 2013-2014, when it got more than 285 000 signatures. The official objective was not achieved then, but six countries – Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Belgium, Netherlands and Estonia reached their signature quotas, and one, Hungary, came close to reaching theirs.  For the new ECI, the activists consider much more success than 1 million signatures due to the raise of awareness about UBI and the enlargement of the network of UBI advocates. 

The “Start Unconditional Basic Incomes (UBI) throughout the EU” is one of the first European Citizens’ Initiatives to use a new system for collecting statements of support. Among other things, support can now be expressed using electronic means of identification, such as a national ID card.

The introduction of an Unconditional Basic Income, as said in the Initiative, ensures every person’s material existence and opportunity to participate in society as part of its economic policy, and reduces regional disparities in order to strengthen the economic, social and territorial cohesion in the EU.

The general principles of Unconditional Basic Income, which are unconditionality, universality, individuality and sufficiency for dignity, are set out in the Annex to the document, as well as  the provisions of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and other treaties that the introduction of an UBI will implement. The rest, such as making the best choices out of the many possible funding methods or the division of competences between the EU and the Member States in the details of the UBI, will remain the subject of further disputes, in particular during the proceedings in EU institutions.

As defined in the Annex, an Unconditional Basic Income as a human right and a benefit does not depend on any precondition, be it an obligation to perform paid work, to show a willingness to work, to be involved in community service or to act in a gender-sensitive manner.

Universality means that the basic income is paid to everyone, regardless of a person’s resources, age, origin, social status or any other indicator. A basic income is individual if it is paid in any case only to individuals, regardless of their marital status, and not to families or other institutions as a whole.

An amount in excess of the relative poverty line, corresponding to at least 60% of the average net income of the country’s population, is generally considered to be sufficient for an UBI. However, the authors of the initiative emphasize that as median income is lower (having lower purchasing power) in countries with a lower standard of living, other criteria should also be taken into account, such as the cost of a basket of goods and services.

International Basic Income Week 2020

International Basic Income Week 2020

International Basic Income Week starts on the 14th September this year. The motto is ‘Freedom to Choose’.

To read a longer article about International Basic Income Week 2020, click here

Plan your events for 2020. Click here.

The calendar of events can be found here.

Plan your #countonbasicincome photo on 18th September 2020, There are already 19 cities participating in the 3rd annual International Basic Income Beer: Berlin, Bonn, Eisenach, Erfurt, Germering, Göttingen, Hamburg, Jena, Kassel, Kempten, Malmö, Mannheim, Nienburg/Weser, Nordhausen, Reutlingen, Roubaix, Stuttgart, Suhl, Weimar

Enjoy a socially distanced International Basic Income Beer #basicincomebeer on Friday 18th September 2020.

Organize an International Basic Income March #basicincomemarch on Saturday 19th September.

Basic Income Grant in Namibia relaunch

Basic Income Grant in Namibia relaunch

From 2008 to 2009 Namibia hosted a globally significant Basic Income pilot project. The coalition behind the project relaunched today to ask for a Basic Income for Namibia.

For details of the launch event click here.

Speakers at the event included Uhuru Dempers (Desk for Social Development of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (NAM)), Dr. Andre September (Council of Churches in Namibia), Rinaani Musutua (Economic and Social Justice Trust), and Julia Ndaponah Shikangalah, who received a BIG in 2008-09.

To read the coalition’s website, click here.

The third Basic Income Conversation

The third Basic Income Conversation

BIEN has published its third Basic Income Conversation, this time about Brazil. In this conversation, Lena Lavinas and Leandro Ferreira debate the Covid pandemic, Brazil’s response, and their relationship to the Basic Income debate.

UN Secretary General proposes Basic Income

UN Secretary General proposes Basic Income

There is a translation of this article into French.

On the 18th July the Secretary General of the United Nations gave the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture.

People want social and economic systems that work for everyone. They want their human rights and fundamental freedoms to be respected. They want a say in decisions that affect their lives. 

The New Social Contract, between Governments, people, civil society, business and more, must integrate employment, sustainable development and social protection, based on equal rights and opportunities for all.  …

The gradual integration of the informal sector into social protection frameworks is essential. 

A changing world requires a new generation of social protection policies with new safety nets including Universal Health Coverage and the possibility of a Universal Basic Income. 

To read the lecture, click here.