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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