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Is Basic Income a political project more of the left or of the right? Is it ‘the capitalist road to communism’ or a libertarian conspiracy from Silicon Valley? Or are these categories pointless when discussing a future with basic income? Who are, who should be our allies in the struggle for basic income? This will be the overarching theme of the next network meeting of Unconditional Basic Income Europe. The weekend in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden 23-25 March 2018 will include a public meeting, seminars, workshops and our annual General Assembly. Come and join us!
Friday 23th: Basic Income – Neither Left nor Right
Public lecture and discussion with Guy Standing at Världskulturmuseet, moderated by Ann Ighe (Senior lecturer in Economic history, Editor-in-chief of Ord&Bild). Free entry for UBIE members.
Saturday 24th: Seminars and workshops
Venue: Kulturhuset Falken (Falkgatan 7, 416 67 Göteborg)
The detailed program will be published here later.
Saturday evening: Dinner, drinks, discussions and maybe dance at a private location. Limited capacity, first come first serve – register below asap, please!
Sunday 25th: UBIE General Assembly
Venue: Same as Saturday.
The UBIE General Assembly is open to all members and interested guests but only members have the right to vote. The meeting will finish around 3pm.
Unconditional Basic Income Europe (UBIE) will host, in cooperation with Netzwerk Grundeinkommen (Basic Income Network Germany) an international expert meeting and public evening event on the topic of “Eurodividend and EU Basic Income for Children: Models to deepen European solidarity”
The conference is planned to be held on 26/27 April 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Language of the expert meeting will be English, language of the public evening debate will be German and English.
In the last years, some proposals of partial basic income models were brought into the debate of renewing Europe by making it more social. Our event will create a space for researchers and policy makers to explore two possible forms: a Eurodividend and a EU Basic Income for Children.
A Eurodividend is a partial basic income granted unconditionally to all EU citizens and legal long-term residents. The proposal, launched by the philosopher Philippe van Parijs (v. Parijs 2013) is conceptualized as a modest income floor averaging 200 euro per month. It would be distributed to all residents of EU member states on an individual basis and without means testing or work requirements.
A Eurodividend is not meant to replace national minimum income schemes. Instead, it would provide a cushion upon which EU member states can pursue their own welfare arrangements to ensure a decent life for all their citizens. The introduction of a Eurodividend aims to enable the development of a fair, stable and efficient European social model. It embodies a European commitment to social citizenship with a policy that is ‘European’ in substance, easy to administer and transparent.
A European Basic Income for Children (BIC) is a universal income transfer unconditionally granted to all families with children, without means test. Studies show that having children is a key indicator for being at risk of poverty. By ensuring that children are taken out of poverty across the continent, it would help to fulfill one the key EU 2020 goals. The Unicef Institute Child Poverty Insights launched this proposal in 2014: “At first sight it might appear far-fetched to introduce a Child Basic Income Europe-wide, but similar schemes already exist in most European countries and might be thought of as a rather modest extension of current policies.” ( Child Poverty Insights 2014 ).
An EU-BIC would also reduce inequalities within and between member states: In the European Commission research note “The distributive and cross country effects of a Child Basic Income for the European Union” Levy et al. explored the within and between country distributional implications of an illustrative European Basic Income for Children operated and funded at EU level. ( Levy et al 2012 )
The ambition is to stimulate more research on concrete proposals and reinforce the credibility of these concepts in European policy debates.
At our expert meeting, we intend to discuss the two proposals from three specific angles:
- Macroeconomic effects
- Financial feasibility
The first theme will examine the public management aspects associated with the introduction of these proposals by asking how could a Eurodividend or a European Basic Income for Children be implemented? Should they be introduced in an incremental way? What would be considered an appropriate level of payment? How would transfer payments be organised?
The second theme will explore their potential macroeconomic effects. For example, could a Eurodividend or a EU-BIC act as an automatic stabiliser for the Eurozone or even for the EU as a whole? Could it help to ease migration-related pressures and improve regional cohesion? The third theme will delve into financing considerations. We will be looking at a range of possible financing models along with their relative advantages and disadvantages.
This conference starts a research agenda which will continue over the following months. The final objective is to publish substantial policy proposals and present them at an event with European policy makers in Brussels.
Timetable and call for papers is available here: eurodivdentforchildrenmeeting201804
NABIG 2018 is being organized by a Canadian-American team including representatives of Basic Income Canada Network, U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network, McMaster University, and the Hamilton Poverty Roundtable
Save the dates! We are very excited to announce that the 17th Annual North American Basic Income Congress (NABIG) will be held May 24-27 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario!
NABIG is held alternately in the United States and Canada. Highlights from the June 2017 congress in New York City included speakers such as Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, international labour leader Andy Stern, and renowned scholar and activist Frances Fox Piven. NABIG 2018 will focus on:
• making basic income a reality, for example, through research, policy development and pilots as well as strategies for mobilizing support
• the converging paths leading to basic income as a solution to multiple concerns connected to health, human rights, the future of work, poverty, inequality, economic and environmental sustainability, democracy and more. NABIG is a great forum for learning, sharing and networking among people from all walks of life.
“The idea of a universal basic income is gaining traction and I am pleased that next year’s NABIG, which will bring together hundreds of advocates, academics and government representatives from across the continent, is being held in Hamilton,” remarks Hamilton’s Mayor, Fred Eisenberger. “Our City is increasingly becoming a focal point for progressive social policy discussion.”
We at BICN and the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network are thrilled that McMaster University, the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, Low Income Families Together (in Toronto), and others are collaborating with us to host a 2018 Congress that is shaping up to be an important and influential event. Support is coming from a wide range of organizations, places and people, such as municipal leaders. And we are lining up NABIG 2018 speakers now, like Dr. Evelyn Forget, the University of Manitoba researcher who unearthed such powerful findings from the 1970s Manitoba Mincome experiment in basic income.
Please save the date and watch for further announcements about key speakers and a Call for Participation later this fall, followed by registration details. We hope to see you at McMaster University and in Hamilton to be part of NABIG 2018!
Basic Income and the New Universalism:
Rethinking the Welfare State in the 21st Century
A joint proposal by BIEN Finland (Perustuloverkosto) and the University of Tampere
(UTA) to hold the next BIEN Congress in Finland.
In the 20th century the welfare states were successful in reducing poverty, building trust
between different socio-economic groups and providing more equal opportunities for all.
Today, welfare state structures reflect the societies of the past rather than those of the
future. Welfare state institutions have not been able to regenerate in line with changed
labour market conditions and lifestyles, and are tightly intertwined with unsustainable
economic structures at local and global levels. The basic income proposal offers a way
out of the current conundrum with a prospect of rethinking and reinvigorating the
ambitions of the welfare state.
Societal reforms such as a basic income require social vision and political will, but also a
sober evaluation of the expected effects and challenges to be overcome. Recent years
have seen an exponential increase in media and policy around the basic income idea,
followed by concrete initiatives to study basic income design and implementation across
The congress plans to build on this growing interest in basic income by inviting activists,
stakeholders, policymakers, students and researchers to discuss the promises of the basic
income against the background of the need for a “new universalism”. The proposed
theme for our conference is: Basic Income and the New Universalism: Rethinking the
Welfare State in the 21st Century.
The congress will focus on three main streams.
- Knowledge and evidence: what do we know about how basic income really works,
and how do we advance our understanding of the basic income model?
- Policy design and implementation: how does basic income interact with existing
(welfare state) policies and institutions, and which social and policy changes are
needed to make basic income work in practice?
- Politics: what are the challenges for pushing basic income onto the policy agenda.
and how can these be overcome?
These three streams encompass a large variety of specific topics to be covered in
presentations and discussions. Examples include: How does an unconditional basic
income change the nature and form of current welfare state institutions and regimes?
How will a well-functioning basic income scheme interact with existing policies? What
are the most promising avenues to institute a basic income? What can we learn from
planned and ongoing pilot schemes about basic income? How can universalism be
extended to larger regional and global areas, and what challenges does this pose for the
basic income idea?
Throughout the congress, we aim to accommodate a wide range of perspectives and
approaches and we will employ different presentation formats to further genuine debate
and discussion. As the basic income idea is gaining popularity in Finland and elsewhere,
we expect strong contributions from academic researchers, citizen activists, policy
experts and decision-makers as well as significant public attention and media interest in
The congress will be held at the University of Tampere (UTA) and several venues within
Tampere is a city of about 225 000 inhabitants located in Southern Finland, 172
kilometres from the capital Helsinki. There are regular train and bus connections from
Helsinki-Vantaa airport and from Helsinki city centre. Tampere also has its own airport
with many international connections.
UTA is the leading university in social sciences and has a long experience and good
reputation in organising international conferences. The university has confirmed its
willingness to supply us with the required conference facilities. We are aiming for 200-
300 participants in total, which is easily accommodated by the university facilities.
The lead organisers are BIEN Finland (Basic Income Network) and the School of Social
Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tampere. In addition we will cooperate
with the Research Department of KELA (The Social Insurance Institution) and the Basic
Income Experiment Consortium. The lead organisers have a track record of collaborating
in projects and putting together public events.
Other possible partners include: Finnish Centre for Pensions, Social Policy Association in
Finland, Finnish Society for Political Economy Research, LabourNet (The Finnish
Doctoral Program on Labour and Welfare Studies).
The organising team include:
- BIEN Finland: Simo Ruottinen, Markku Ikkala, Jukka Peltokoski, Petri Flander.
- Academics: Pertti Koistinen, Johanna Perkiö, Jurgen De Wispelaere, Jorma Kalela, Jan
Otto Andersson, Jouko Kajanoja.
- Basic Income Experiment Consortium: Olli Kangas and others
- Board of advisors from civil society, policy and academia TBA
Resources and funding support:
In addition to supplying conference facilities, the School of Social Sciences and
Humanities has made a promise to contribute to the BIEN2018 Congress financially and
offer further conference assistance. The university will also be able to supply cheap
We have also been in touch with various interest groups and funders, and received a
principled green light for cooperation. If it is agreed BIEN2018 Congress will be held in
Finland, we will immediately start negotiating with relevant actors and interest groups on
financing, conference organisation, conference venue, accommodation, etc.
BIEN Finland has many local contacts in Tampere and will organise activist/political
sessions attracting broader audiences and journalists, as well as an enjoyable evening
program. We can easily find volunteers among the university students and activists of
BIEN Finland’s network to ensure that the conference runs well.
WHY FINLAND AS THE NEXT CONGRESS VENUE?
Finland is an interesting site for the BIEN 2018 congress for several reasons.
- Finland belongs to the family of Nordic countries, which have a long tradition and
commitment to universalistic ideas in social and welfare policies. The Nordic
countries are often considered the birthplace of the universal welfare state. This
would be the first time a BIEN Congress is held in one of the Nordic countries and
we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in Denmark, Sweden and
Norway to make this a very successful event. As has become tradition for BIEN
congresses, we propose to host a “local day” focused on basic income in the Nordic
welfare state before the official congress, offering a forum for activists and policy
makers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland to exchange their experiences.
- The idea of basic income has featured in Finnish academic and political discussion at
regular intervals already since the 1970’s, and in 2012 Finnish basic income activists
launched Initiative which didn’t gather sufficient votes but produced a lot of media
attention. In recent years the basic income idea is regularly discussed in public
opinion and policy discussions, often promoted by BIEN Finland.
- Basic income is also a significant subject of academic interest in Finland, and
especially at the University of Tampere (UTA). UTA hosted the first basic income
course for social policy students and several PhD on basic income are ongoing or
have been completed within the same department. UTA is also a partner in the Basic
Income Experiment Consortium. The School of Social Sciences and Humanities
plans to organise a special expert workshop focused on basic income research
challenges as part of the BIEN Congress.
- Most importantly, Finland occupies a unique place of being the first country to plan a
nation-wide basic income experiment. The Finnish government has committed to a
large field experiment that will start in January 2017 and run for two years. The
congress would happen at a time when we are already expecting preliminary results
and this makes for a particularly timely event. While other experiments are also being
prepared, none are as advanced as Finland.
More information and contact info:
• Simo Ruottinen, chair of BIEN Finland. Email: simo[a]perustulo.org
• Pertti Koistinen, Professor of Social and Labour Market Policies, University of
Tampere. Email: pertti.koistinen[a]uta.fi
This text was taken from http://www.basicincome.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/7._BIENFinland2018proposal.pdf
The congress theme is “Places for People: Liveable, Inclusive, and Liveable Regions”, ‘but the congress covers all fields in Regional Science. In addition to the general themes, a limited set of Special Sessions will be organized. The Special Sessions address specific and topical themes in Regional Science.
S50 Social and Spatial Inequalities and Basic Income Policies
A basic income (also known as universal basic income) is an income paid unconditionally to every citizen or resident of a country. It is a form of guaranteed minimum income, but distinct from minimum incomes that exist in some countries because it is paid irrespective of income from other sources without a requirement to work. It is often argued that the origins of the idea date back to 18th century and the work of Thomas Paine who advocated the creation of a social insurance scheme for the aged and for young people just starting out in life, which would be paid from a national fund accumulated for this purpose.
In recent years there has been a relatively small but rapidly growing number of academic scholars and social activists (and relevant networks and movements such as the Basic Income Earth Network – see http://basicincome.org ) who have been advocating Basic Income policies and there is currently a lively debate on its feasibility and desirability.
There has also been an implementation of relevant policy initiatives, trials and experiments across the world with recent efforts in Finland and Canada amongst the most notable examples, but also the on-going social assistance experiments conducted by several Dutch municipalities and discussions of a possible adoption of Basic Income in Scotland. Although there has been a considerable number of relevant feasibility studies, there has been very limited analysis of the possible spatial implications of such policies.
This special session will consider the geographical implications of Basic Income policies, including issues pertaining to social justice, labour market supply and demand implications and local and regional multiplier effects.
Convenor(s): Dimitris Ballas: Arjen Edjes
About the congress
Places matter for economic and social development. In an increasingly globalized world, people are looking to local and regional factors to optimize competitive advantage, inclusivity, and well-being. The ERSA congress “Places for People: Innovative, Inclusive and Liveable Regions” puts people back at the heart of regional and urban development to examine how spatial and regional analysis can work to improve people’s lives. The Congress will host a large variety of themes in spatial, regional, and urban economics, economic geography, and regional policy topics like local governance and institutions.
With approximately 800 participants every year from all continents, the ERSA congresses have become the largest academic conferences in regional science worldwide. There is simply no better place to present your research results, network and/or exchange, find out about new developments in the field, and just to meet colleagues and friends.