ECMI Publications Database

#120: Would an EU-wide basic income compliment the aims of the Minority SafePack Initiative?
Craig Willis
European Centre For Minority Issues
Release Date:

The broader goals of the Minority SafePack Initiative call for a pact between minorities and majorities in order to preserve, develop and promote the linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe in relation to the high number of national minorities inside the European Union. After a successful campaign and the collection of over 1,100,000 validated signatures, the Initiative is ready to be submitted to the EU Commission alongside concrete legislative proposals. This Working Paper examines how the EU-wide proposals for a basic income possibly fit theoretically with the Initiative, discussing basic income more generally as well as two proposals from Van Parijs and DiEM25. Developing four core areas as assessment criteria, the Working Paper finds that basic income theory overlaps significantly in terms of potential impact on the capacity for living in homeland, learning in mother tongue, preservation and development of identity and culture, and aiming for equality. However, these potentially diminish if the amount of a basic income is not enough to meet basic needs, as could be the case with the two proposals analysed – particularly when applied in the EU member states with a higher cost of living. Nonetheless, the differentiation between the Euro-dividend and the Universal Basic Dividend in terms of funding mechanism offers a significant factor which could change the normative understanding of a basic income – with the latter possibly better suiting the idea of a pact between different groups in society, in this case the majority and national minorities.

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