It is with grave concern that we have to inform you on recent developments in the preparation of the ECI Campaign “Start Unconditional Basic Incomes Throughout Europe”.
We, as UBIE Core Group have made it, right from the beginning of our mandate, a priority to successfully prepare and organise this ECI. All members of the Core Group invested a lot of their volunteer time to make this campaign possible, by:
- aiding the activities of the New ECI Working Group (and later of the Coordination Team),
- bringing in external expertise from organisers of other ECIs and from successful NGO campaigners to support the campaign preparations,
- helping to rephrase the ECI subject matter after the objections of the European Commission’s legal service against the first version submitted,
- compiling the Campaign Plan as required by the UBIE General Assembly’s resolution from March 2019,
- planning and starting a fundraising campaign to be able to finance a central campaign office, the necessary IT infrastructure, and visible awareness-raising activities throughout Europe.
Two members of the Core Group continuously worked with the New ECI Working Group since the March 2019 Berlin General Assembly and later in the ECI Coordination Team following the planning meeting in Vienna in October 2019. One UBIE Core Group member is also National Coordinator for the ECI in his country.
Against this background, as Core Group of UBIE, we were severely disappointed by a recent decision of the ECI Coordination Team to ignore the UBIE General Assembly’s resolution from the 24th May 2020 on the structures and procedures for the preparation and organisation of the ECI Campaign.
At its meeting on 10 June 2020, the ECI Coordination Team has unilaterally decided to use the European Commission’s online signature gathering software for the ECI, even though the resolution of the UBIE General Assembly clearly stated that this decision shall be made jointly by the Coordination Team and the UBIE Core Group.
In the two previous meetings, members of the Core Group reached an agreement with the Coordination Team on a joint procedure for such a decision:
- Agreement on the criteria for the signature-gathering software;
- Comparison of the EC’s tool with the self-hosted alternative OpenECI.
Whereas the Coordination Team cooperated with the Core Group in developing the common criteria, they stopped short of following up the next steps as agreed and opted for a unilateral decision instead.
As the Core Group of Unconditional Basic Income Europe, we are legally obliged to follow the decisions of the UBIE General Assembly. This means that we have no possibility to work together or share UBIE’s resources with a Coordination Team that does not operate on the basis of these rules.
Therefore, to our utmost regret, we have to suspend all activities on behalf of UBIE in preparation of the ECI for the time being.
We will attend the upcoming European Coordination Meeting on 20 June in the sincere hope that this meeting will bring the preparations back on the track outlined in the UBIE General Assembly resolution. Should this be the case and should the new ECI Coordination Team elected at this meeting be ready to cooperate, in good faith and in a constructive spirit, on the basis of the commonly agreed procedures, we will be happy to resume our efforts in order to implement a convincing, powerful, and successful ECI campaign.
Unconditional greetings from the UBIE Core Group:
Alessandra Bianchi, Dániel Fehér, Vladan Lausevic, Leire Rincón, and Ulrich Schachtschneider