FYEG

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RES-4 Motion for the Federation of Young European Greens policy and action on basic income

Author(s): Kati Systä, ViNO Finnish young Greens and Students

With notion to Federation of Young European Green’s values of green social economy and in light of our 2008 Resolution on Basic Income, we, the member organisations of FYEG, demand a European basic income to protect European’s social rights. Taking action for this matter is more important than ever, especially in the light of the economic crisis.

 Poverty eradication & adapting to the new situation in working life

With technical development taking faster pace and work relationships being completely changed, there is no going back to traditional working life. Also in light of the economic crisis and austerity policy, Europe must provide economic guarantees for its nationals to live and support themselves.

European social policies must live in their time and change to suit better to the needs of the people and societies. Being an income that is unconditional and received by everyone, the basic income is the answer. The basic income would make it always useful to work but when the work ends, no one would be left without any support. In times of short-time employments this would make working always beneficial. The basic income would also make it easier to start own business by not having to worry how to support oneself in case of failing or not succeeding immediately. In this sense, the basic income would  help poverty-eradication.

More work and less poverty would also help the European economy. By supporting its citizens, Europe could lift itself from the economic crisis. The basic income is a great alternative for austerity. The amount of income must though be suited to national income level in each member state, this to make sure that member states could not use basic income to lower the level of social security. At present, a common European level could lead to too low level of social security in countries with high level of prices.

 Benefiting the youth

Basic income would also benefit the youth. It would provide income during the time of studying and after it, making sure that it is always advantageous to study without having to worry about working at the same time to support oneself. The basic income would also give the freedom to choose how one wants to live. The youth rarely have a clear image of what they want to do in life. The basic income would make sure that one can have a change of heart, change what one studies, where one lives and re-educate oneself later in life. The basic income would also provide youth more flexible job opportunities, would make part-time working easier and give youth better opportunities to get into working life.

Our policy paper on green social economy (2008) defines the basic income as following: ‘We conceive Basic Income as a powerful tool in order to promote a green concept of economy. We understand basic income as an unconditional and periodic social benefit paid to all members of the society, regardless of their citizenship, on an individual basis. The amount should be big enough to cover the average basic needs of an individual.’ The basic income should be one of our European core instruments in poverty eradication and enabling people to freely choose their way of life.

 Implementation

On these premises and our already accepted FYEG policies, we feel that our and the federation’s stand is clear. FYEG member organisations may have different positions concerning the question and should have a right to take a separate stance on the issue. Member organisations should be given a chance to participate in discussion concerning the matter, albeit they should not feel to be politically bound to policies they cannot accept.

We call upon the federation’s executive board and relevant working groups to

1. Facilitate and encourage on the matter within the federation and member organisations.

2. Actively promote and campaign for basic income in European, member states’ , EU and international platforms.

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Amendments

Line Author(s) Text Explanation Procedure
7 Johannes

Replace first sentence with:

Technical development has already and will continue to completely change our ways of working and it is evident there is no going back to traditional ways of working.

 

Sounds better and makes more sense. Adoption

Adopted by ViNO

9 FYEG EC

remove ”nationals to live and support themselves” and replace with ”people to support themselves and their families.”

Basic income should not be limited only to nationals of a country.
10 GRUENE JUGEND

replace ”for its nationals” with ”for its citizens”

"nationals" seems to be the  wrong word here, there is no European nationality
12 & 13 FYEG EC

Remove ”Being an income that is unconditional and received by everyone, the basic income is the answer.” Replace with ”Therefore we call for a basic income, an income that is unconditional and received by everyone.”

Clearer wording Adoption

Adopted by ViNO

24 EcoloJ & Jong Groen

Add:

[…] this to make sure that member states could not use basic income to lower the level of social security and social right.

Withdrawn

Withdrawn in favour of compromised text

24(1) ViNO et al.

Compromise as discussed on 27.05.:

Add:
[…] this is to help to make sure that member states could not use basic income to lower the level of social security and social rights.

Compromise Modified adoption

Adopted after compromise

32 & 33 FYEG EC

Replace ”The youth rarely have a clear image of what they want to do in life” with ”Youth should be a time where one can develop and pursue various life paths.”

First wording carries a negative connotation towards youth Adoption

Adopted by ViNO

35 EcoloJ & Jong Groen

Delete:

The basic income would also provide youth more flexible job opportunities, would make part-time working easier and give youth better opportunities to get into working life.

A working life is not a goal in itself. And flexibility is a dangerous concept which could means compelled flexibility.
37 FYEG EC

Add ”Moreover, it would ensure participation in culture and public affairs and encourage civic participation.”

Highlight the benefits basic income can provide that are beyond just greater financial security Adoption

Adopted by ViNO

46(1) Sam Murray

Insert the following section:

Enabling Artistic Practice

Currently throughout Europe the pursuit of a career within artistic practice (including musician, artist, sculptor, actor, dancer ect.) has been stifled by the lack of recognition of artists as skilled workers, and remunerations for their skill set is unacceptably low. It is also difficult for artistic practitioners to earn a living during the creation process. The introduction of a basic income would facilitate the pursuit of a career in artistic development allowing a steady income to subsidise living costs around the creation processes. It would also allow time for skills to be learnt and developed.

It is important to assert that citizens or basic income models provide an opportunity for an alternative pursuit of a career. Often artistic practitioners work part-time in non-creative roles to subsidise their living costs. This ability created by basic income is important for the development of arts and culture across Europe. Withdrawn
46-52 FYEG EC

Remove lines 46-52

It not relevant to highlight that various MO's opinions may diverge on this issue in a policy paper such as this and is does not enrich the debate on basic income itself.
58-1 EcoloJ & Jong Groen

Add:

4. We will come back to the collective reduction in working time in the debate that is to follow.

This is a more actionable proposition which could be a first step about social movement. Adoption

Adopted by ViNO

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