13th International Conference of the Basic Income Earth Network
Basic Income as an instrument for justice and peace
June 30 - July 2, 2010
Faculty of Economics and Administration
University of São Paulo
Andrea Fumagalli (BIN-ITALY)
Basic income in Italy: which challenge?
1. The beginning
The Italian Basic Income Network is born in June 2008, just a month before the
Bien Congress in Dublin, Ireland. This fact explains the enthusiasm of the Italian
delegation in Dublin. The founders are 9 and they are economists, journalists,
layers, sociologists, philosophers and social movements activists. Except myself,
they are not part of the Academia.
The first step of the Association is to build up a web-site (in different languages),
which is constantly up-to-dated. Since a couple of months, there is a Bin TV and
every three months a newsletter is published (on the model of BIEN Flash). At
the moment, the number of members is about 250 people.
The members are divided in four categories:
• founder members (a sort of “informal” executive committee)
• honorary members, only international BI researchers, like Jurgen De
Wispelaere, Daniel Raventos, Guy Standing, Yannick Vanderborght, Philippe
Van Parijs;
• ordinary members, who subscribed a monetary contributions (50 euros);
• supporter members.
2. The aims
To promote and diffuse the Basic Income proposal in an interdisciplinary
context and international level (with special attention to European
To organize events, meetings, workshops in order to explain the reasons
and the fundamentals of BI proposal;
To favor lobbying activity (network activity) in the political, social and tradeunionist scenario inside the critical Italian situation;
To promote publications, media activism (documentary, articles, and
everything necessary) in order to let the people know about Bi proposal
To organize a web-archive in which it is possible to collect most of the
publications about basic income debate in Italy and outside.
3. What we have done
The editing of the book “Reddito per tutti (Basic Income for all: a concrete
utopia in the global era)”, ManifestoLibri, Roma, november 2009, pp. 264,
which presented for the first time to the Italian public some relevant
international essays (Christensen, Offe, Olin Wright, Pateman, Pettit,
Raventos, Standing, Van Parijs, Vercellone);
The organization of meetings on Basic Income topics (see specific slide)
May, 1°, 2009 (Labour Day), joint meeting with others civil society
Association (Progetto Diritti, Antigone, Cilap-Eapn, Giuristi Democratici,
Udu-Napoli, BioS Milano, Lunaria, Magistratura Democratica,
Sbilanciamoci) to launch a petition for the introduction of a basic income at
European level (European election)
November 27-28, 2009, Naples, Bin participation to the 2009 European
Forum of the Civil Society. Remember that 2010 is the European year
against poverty and social exclusion.
Main BIN-Italy Conferences
November, 24, 2008, Fondazione Basso di Roma
“Nuovo welfare e reddito garantito: politiche europee e italiane a confronto” (New welfare and
basic income: a comparison between European and Italian policy)
March, 20, 2009: Sala della Pace , Provinca di Roma, Roma
"Dalla commissione Onofri alla commissione Carniti: la necessaria riforma del welfare italiano e
l'introduzione di un reddito garantito“ (From Onofri Commision to Carniti Commission: the welfare
. reform and the introduction of basic income).
April, 24, 2009, University of Florence, co-organzed with Federalist European Movement:
"Ripensare welfare e diritti, la sfida del basic income” (Rethinking welfare and social right: the
challenge of basic income), with Guy Standing.
May 30-31, 2009, all'Auditorium del Liceo Carducci, (co-organized with San Precario Association
and MayDay Assembly): “Welfare mon amour: garanzia di reddito e accesso ai beni comuni in
tempo di crisi“ (Welfare mon amour: basic income and access to common goods in time of crisis).
February 22, 2010, Fondazione Basso, Roma, official presentation of the BIN book “Reddito per
tutti, un’utopia concreta” (Basic Income for all: a concrete utopia in the global era).
May, 27 , 2010, Fondazione Basso, Roma: “Sud America, democrazia e nuovi diritti sociali” (South
America, democracy and new social rights)., with Ruben Lo Vuolo
June, 4-5, 2009, Pescara: ‘Convenzione dei cittadini europei sui beni pubblici ed i diritti collettivi”
(European citizens’s Convention on public goods and collective rights), with Guy Standing
The Italian debate
The basic income (BI) proposal has always been part of the Italian radical and
autonomist social movements of the ‘70s (under the formula “guaranteed wage”).
In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, because of the structural changes in the labor and
production organization (the shift from Fordism, based on the right to work, to
Postfordism and new form of accumulation, in which precarious labour tends to
become dominant), the key-word of basic income started to interest a wider range
of activists and researchers, thanks to the autonomist magazine “Infoxoa” (Rome)
and the pamphlet: “Ten Thesis on basic income” (by myself), freely downloaded
from Internet (1998).
Nowadays, BI debate has to do with cultural, juridical, political, socio-economic
aspects. The Italian welfare situation and legislation is very poor. Italy is the only
country of Europe 27 (together with Greece and Hungary), in which there is no a
universal anti-poverty subsidy. Nevertheless the national political situation is not
at all in favour of any forms of BI, in the last two years there are some local and
regional pilot experiments. The most important is the approval (2009) in Lazio (the
region of Rome) of a law, which introduces an unconditioned, even not yet
universal, minimum income, thanks to the direct participation of some BIN-Italy
fouders members, too. The Lazio example will be followed by other Italian regions,
like Marche, Molise, Lucania, Umbria, Liguria. BIN-Italy is participating to this
working in progress.
The BIN-Italy definition by Basic Income
Five parameters
individuals not household
residence not citizenship
unconditionality, not compulsory behavior
financed by general fiscal budget, not by social security
universality (no means tested, but step by step)
We consider BI as remuneration of life is complementary to wages. Wages
are the remuneration of certified labour time (legally recognized). BI is the
remuneration of unpaid work (like care work, for instance) and leisure
time, which are, in modern capitalism, source of valorization.
We consider BI as remuneration of the social cooperation (i.e: general
intellect, reproduction, care, sociality, …)
We consider BI as instrument of peace and justice because it provides
social income distribution, against private expropriation of social
What’s going on
At the moment, Bin-Italy is involved in a research project financed by Region Lazio,
finalized to monitor Minimum Basic Income in the same region.
At the same time, some contacts are in progress with region Basilicata and Liguria
to be consultant for a regional law on Minimum Income. Some similar contacts
are starting with region Marche (hopefully).
Starting from September, Bin-Italy will participate to the collection of a million
signatures in Europe for a petition to European Parliament after the approval of
Lisbon Treaty (December, 1st, 2009), in which BI is mentioned as a possible welfare
Bin-Italy will take part to the organization of a “General Meeting of Precariat”, in
Milano, October, 1-2, 2010, in which a proposal of metropolitan welfare will be
presented, with special regard to the precarious life/labour conditions.
Last, but not least, Bin-Italy will organize next spring a national founding congress
of two days with international guests, in order to promote a national-wide
campaign in favour of BI and to formalize its constitution. This meeting will be the
occasion to build relations with other European Basic Income Networks (especially
mediterrean) and to discuss about BI opportunities both from a culturaltheorectical point and from political-concrete one.

13th International Conference of the Basic Income Earth Network