Finland’s Basic Income Network’s request for affiliation to BIEN
OUTLINE: Finland’s Basic Income Network was founded in May 2011. The first move was to set up a mailing list which has now gathered more than 200 subscribers. Later on, a website (https://perustulo.org) and a Facebook group (over 300 members) have been created. The network has organized two general assemblies of the members and a few informal meetings. It launched a campaign for citizen’s initiative on basic income in March 2012, organized a seminar of more than 100 participants in January 2012 and a couple of smaller events. The network’s activists contributed to the pamphlet “The Time for Basic Income” (Perustulon aika), published in May 2012 (eds. Johanna Perkiö & Kaisu Suopanki, Into publishing house). Members of the network have appeared several times in the media and as speakers in various public events.
ORGANIZATION: The network has not been organized as an association, and hence there is no formal membership. The members of the mailing list and/or the Facebook group count as members of the network. The members come from all parts of Finland (emphasis on the capital area and big cities) and they have various political and occupational backgrounds. Besides physical persons, there are four member organizations: The Green Cultural Association, The Left Forum and the student unions of the Tampere and Helsinki universities. In the general assembly held on 31 May 2012 the network elected “a steering committee” of four persons: Johanna Perkiö, Jukka Peltokoski, Simo Ruottinen and Otto Lehto. It also created a few thematic working groups: a website group, argumentation group and campaigning group. The network aims to rule its internal life by democratic principles; all the decisions are discussed either in a general assembly or on the network’s mailing list, which is the most important forum for its internal communication. The organizational structure is to be developed further on the basis of practical needs and the form of association will be taken in the future if needed.
ACTIVITIES: The network will organize regular meetings for its members 1-2 times a year, produce campaigning material (brochures and leaflets), organize seminars and workshops on basic income (also in the context of other events such as scientific conferences or social forums) and promote the idea of basic income in the public discussion. The network’s funding will be organized on the basis of donations from the individual members and supportive organizations. The main activity for the coming year will be campaigning and collecting signatures for the citizen’s initiative on basic income. If the citizens’ initiative will be signed by 50 000 people within 6 months, it can be sent for parliamentary handling. Collecting signatures will start in autumn 2012 as the appropriate online service will be available. The campaign has already gained much media coverage. The Left and Green Youth organizations and the student unions of Tampere, Jyväskylä and Helsinki universities support the campaign.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the network is to promote public and political discussion on basic income in its various forms. That means that the network has not committed itself to any particular model or notion of basic income. In the campaign for the citizen’s initiative the network has however taken the stance that basic income should be financially at least as high as contemporary minimum social security benefits. The important outcome of the network’s establishment has been bringing the formerly scattered groups and individuals advocating basic income into a joint platform and social movement.
Considering our regular activities, diverse composition of the membership and the state of public debate on basic income in Finland we request BIEN to give Finland’s Basic Income Network the official recognition as one of its affiliates.
In Helsinki 8 August 2012
BIEN FINLAND Steering Committee