Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence
Marius S. Ostrowski is Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, and was previously Examination Fellow in Politics at All Souls College, University of Oxford. His interests lie in the theory and history of social democracy and European unification, and his publications include Left Unity: Manifesto for a Progressive Alliance (2020) and the edited series of the Collected Works by the socialist thinker Eduard Bernstein (2018-). He is Online and Social Media Editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies, and Founding Editor of its affiliated blog Ideology Theory Practice.
Across the political spectrum, there is widespread agreement that the European Union (EU) needs a palpable social dimension. In this FEPS YAN policy study, the authors provide a research-driven policy proposal on how this social dimension can be achieved in the light of the diversity of national welfare systems in the EU.
They argue that a Universal Basic Income (UBI) could be a conceptually appealing policy to be implemented at EU level, complementing national welfare states. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the policy is receiving unprecedented and ever-increasing attention, and enjoys widespread public popularity, but is viewed with scepticism by major political parties.
This paper is a unified source of information for progressive policymakers, advocates, consultants, and researchers who are interested in (a) how a European UBI could be concretely designed and (b) the reasoning and justifications behind its concrete design decisions. In order to formulate a policy proposal that could potentially foster cross- partisan compromises and move public policy preferences and political reality closer together, the authors conducted a comprehensive review of historical and contemporary UBI debates, gathered the key arguments presented in academic, popular, political, and organisational sources, and reflected on them from logical, normative, and empirical perspectives.
Based on the most plausible arguments for and against a UBI, they designed a concrete policy proposal for a UBI at the EU level that responds to broadly progressive ideals from different partisan backgrounds. The result is an ambitious yet feasible proposal that bridges political divides and, if implemented, would be the most substantial leap for Social Europe yet.
Read the paper:
The European Basic Income
Political Mentor: S&D MEP Agnes Jongerius
Academic Mentor: Lorena Lombardozzi, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Open University.