Unconditional Basic Income announced on their Facebook page on Tuesday that Croatia was the first nation to reach its required threshold – 9,000 signatures. For the initiative to pass and reach the debating floor of the European Commission, one million signatures have to be obtained by 14 January 2014.
The Unconditional Basic Income initiative aims at exploring the feasibility of a European Basic Income scheme – emphasize that it should not replace the welfare state but rather complete and transform the same from a compensatory into an emancipatory welfare state. In principle every person, irrespective of age, descent, place of residence, profession etc. will be entitled to receive a monthly allocation – 60% of the average wage in the country.
“We regard Basic Income as a human right which shall not depend on any preconditions, whether an obligation to take paid employment, to be involved in community service, or to behave according to traditional gender roles. Nor will it be subject to income, savings or property limits. The amount should provide for a decent standard of living, which meets society’s social and cultural standards in the country concerned. It should prevent material poverty and provide the opportunity to participate in society,” say the initiators, adding that each state will be responsible for the monthly payments with the money coming from mostly tax reforms.
What it means for Croats if the initiative is successful is that each qualifying citizen would receive 1,324 kuna (180 EUR) every month. Time will tell how far the initiative will go. You can visit the official Facebook page here.