A Romanian debate on the European Citizens’ Initiative for a Basic Income in Europe (UBI) took place in Brussels, on 21st September 2013, organised by the Romanian Open Society Abroad (DP-ROSA), hotel Le Dome, conference room Gustav Klimt.
Participants were representatives of the Romanian civil society established in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania.
A distinguished presence in the event was H.E. Mr. Ștefan Tinca, Romanian Ambassador to Belgium who stated in the opening: “This event reflects the maturing of Romanian civil society and this type of debate has to mobilise more political actors. I recommend more support for this debate in Romania, involving both the national parliament and the European Parliament”.
The agenda of the day included:
- Presentation of the Initiative for a Basic Income in Europe (Romanian threshold: 24.750 signatures) with debate
- Romanians and the micro-organisational, social and political innovation: a solution for the new generations. Case study: Romanian Open Society Abroad (DP-ROSA)
- Basic Income vs. Social Security System in Romania: are the Romanians sufficiently covered for a Decent Life, as stated in the Charter of Fundamental Rights? With debate
- Basic Income vs. European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: are the Romanians poor and excluded from Europe? With debate
- UBI = 24.750 Romanian signatures before 14 January 2014: do we sign the petition? With debate
“Romanian salaries are among the lowest in Europe; the social security system in Romania does not protect vulnerable groups and does not offer a real chance for a decent life. The unemployment indicators do not look bad on paper, but in fact, the Romanian working force is emigrating to other EU states where the workers meet new problems in exchange for economic survival: black working market, social and professional discrimination, daylight exploitation and human trafficking, many times extremely dangerous working and living conditions, racial threats for Romanian Roma ethnics, illegal status and various institutional blockages preventing integration, bureaucratic fight for a working visa in some EU countries etc.
“(…) the poverty in Romania is an increasing worry for all of us, directly linked to the economic migration of the working force, including a highly specialised working force. These are just a few reasons why Romanian Open Society Abroad is paying close attention to the Citizens Initiative for a Basic Income in Europe (UBI). We support this European initiative with all resources available, thinking to Romanian people of all ethnicities struggling more and more under the current austerity and expecting a helping hand from us, the Romanian civil society established abroad.” Declared Dr. Mihaela Meresi, expert in Social and Political Sciences, founding member of Romanian Open Society Abroad (DP-ROSA).
Invitations to the 21 September UBI Romanian debate in Brussels were sent, also, to the Romanian Ambassador to the European Union and to several Members of the European Parliament from all political groups, including non-attached, from the national list.
“I appreciate that this kind of debate is very useful indeed, giving the possibility for participants to become familiar with and to deepen the understanding of such subjects with real impact on the quality of living” wrote H.E Mr. Mihnea Motoc, Ambassador of Romania to the European Union in his letter sent to the organisers.
The UBI Romanian event, which took place from 10 AM until 6 PM on Saturday 21st of September, ended with general conclusions towards building a stronger support for UBI, over the next 2 months, involving more representatives of civil society, more media resources and more political representatives of all colours, raising the number of Romanian signatures to a minimum of 24 750.
Participants were also interested in expressing their support for the annual charity event organised by the Romanian Open Society Abroad (DP-ROSA). Entitled “Santa Claus from Abroad-Edition 2013”, it targets Romanian children found in difficulty caused by poverty in Romania, who will receive Christmas presents from the Romanian community established abroad, between the 15th and the 25th of December 2013.
Brussels, 22 September 2013