Politicians and major European organisations working in the fields of health, poverty, democracy, education and the environment discussed the potential benefits of unconditional basic income at the European Economic and Social Committee on Thursday, 10 April 2014.
The conference also marked the launch of a new network, Unconditional Basic Income Europe, which formed around the European Citizens Initiative for Unconditional Basic Income (ECI for UBI) last year. Citizens from 25 European countries collaborated to hold this conference. Entitled ‘Unconditional Basic Income: Emancipating European Welfare’, theconference brought together activists, politicians, organisations and interested individuals to highlight the potential benefits of this idea. UBI gained an unprecedented amount of press coverage last year and was backed by over 300,000 supporters across Europe during the ECI for UBI.
During its year-long run the number of countries involved with this European Citizens’ Initiative swelled from 13 to 25.
There were also presentations from Guy Standing about a recent pilot project in India, Philippe van Parijs about his proposal for a ‘Eurodividend’ to be paid to all EU citizens, Ronald Blaschke of Netzwerk Grundeinskommen Germany on UBI’s potential to ameliorate hidden poverty; Plamen Dimitrov, President of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, will speak about UBI’s beneficial effects on health, the environment, democracy and social solidarity.
The conference’s moderator was Karl Widerquist, co-Chair of the Basic Income Earth Network and editor of BINews.org.