People from all over Europe have been campaigning on Facebook, tweeting and joining together outside job centres, universities and on picket-lines, trying to get signatures for the fast-approaching (14th Jan, 2014) European Initiative deadline. With the completion of this petition, the EU will be asked (democratically obliged!) to fund pilot studies and examine the feasibility of EU-wide Unconditional Basic Income schemes . More generally, it will become part of the growing conversation on human rights in the face of ever-growing inequality and the narratives of austerity and the purported absence of alternatives.
The campaigning has been going steadily since the start of this year, picking up some incredible steam in a number of places — Croatia and Slovenia, it is fair to say, wowed the rest of us by getting to their quotas in a breathless couple of months. On the 6th of November, we began a new phase of the campaign with the launch of a Crowd-funding initiative. The aim of crowdfunding is to finance online promotion of the European petition and help us collect the remaining 874,000 signatures. This strategy has proved particularly successful in the cases of Croatia and Slovenia.
Official support from the BIEN
The Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) stepped into this operation, by providing official support for the ECI, along with a donation to the tune of 1,000 Euros. This is the first time since its creation in 1986 that the BIEN has allocated money to an external project aiming at promoting UBI.
In order to really launch this grassroots campaign and give us a shot at those signatures, a big push was needed. Not only did we reach the first target for that push (16,000 and counting) we got there in less than 48 hours! More than 300 persons contributed to the success of the crowdfunding campaign, equivalent to an average donation of 50€.
With the success of this financial initiative we have really given ourselves a shot at reaching our target. “It’s completely possible to collect 800.000+ signatures in only a few weeks, using nothing but the immense power of the Internet”, says Visjna Zeljeznjak the Croatian coordinator of the fundraising campaign. “Other European citizens’ initiatives that have been successful, such as the recently finished “Right2Water” initiative, have also collected 80% of their signatures in the last few months of their campaign, mostly online.”
Even though the goal of 15,000 has been reached, you can keep donating to the initiative through KissKissBankBank platform until November 20th. Your donations will fund a wide online campaign along with the coverage of some organizational expenses for volunteering members of the European campaign team. All remaining funds after January 14th will be allocated to further projects related to the promotion of the Unconditional Basic Income in Europe.