On 27, 28 and 29 June, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) together with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) hosted a conference on “Shaping the new world of work: the impacts of digitalisation and robotisation”, to discuss how the world and nature of work and employment is being changed by the digital revolution. SOLIDAR attended the conference and, participated in Panel 16 on Basic Income.
SOLIDAR and its members have been implementing Social Progress Watch for three years now, analysing the impact of EU policies at Member States level. The results from the 2015 report show worrying trends:
One element repeatedly emerges from SOLIDAR’s Social Progress Watch: during the financial and economic crisis, Europe lost sight of fiscal and financial consolidation, ignoring the clear need for social consolidation and thereby disregarding the actual needs of Europe’s citizens, young people.
SOLIDAR wants to see economic and social policy reforms at EU and national level that lead to real upward social convergence and that are supportive of a socially inclusive Europe, providing economic security for all, fighting poverty, inequality and discrimination, and promoting equal opportunities.
Upward social convergence will not happen on its own, without successfully addressing these inequalities. Therefore SOLIDAR has embraced the concept of social safeguards.
A proposal for a basic income has to be an integral part of attempts at ‘making work pay’, in order to avoid making basic income an instrument that socialises externalities created by employers. Basic income has to go hand-in-hand with these social safeguards that are in our mind related to the ILO recommendation 202:
To conclude, basic income has the potential to address new social risks in providing support for ‘the precariat’, namely providing a safety‐net for those who experience frequent spells of unemployment in current precarious labour markets.