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Sep 04, 2019 - Katalin Novák

Hungarian Family Policy in the front ranks globally

Budapest Demographic Summit III to be the most prestigious, international demography-focused event in years

The most prominent, international figures at work in the pro-family movement will gather in Hungary, September 5 to 6, for Budapest Demographic Summit III. Nearly 70 participants from more than 20 countries, including prime ministers and presidents, high ranking government officials, church leaders and policy experts will address demographic challenges and their solutions as well as best practices in family policy.

Mankind confronts many challenges globally, but demography is the most significant issue for our future everywhere. Europe is not presently capable of maintaining its population. The children’s nurseries are empty while migration imposes huge pressure.

Speakers at this year’s Demographic Summit will include: Aleksandar Vučić, president of the Republic of Serbia; Andrej Babiš, prime minister of the Czech Republic; Tony Abbott, former prime minister of the Commonwealth of Australia; and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. In addition, the Summit will gather Bangladeshi, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Cabo Verdean, Latvian, Polish, Slovakian, and Hungarian ministers of government as well as American, Australian and European MPs, and numerous researchers and experts. We can say with confidence that the Budapest Demographic Summit III will be the most prestigious demography-focused event in recent years.

During the two day-long conference, including cultural programs, participants will discuss issues such as the link between demography and competitiveness, sustainability, media, and the role of the civic sphere, besides introducing best practices in family policy.

But why is Hungary providing a forum for the international meeting of family-friendly forces? Our country has become a benchmark in family policy in recent years. More and more countries refer to the comprehensive, Hungarian family support system as a model, an approach to solving demographic challenges by strengthening families and promoting childbearing.

It is not accidental that after 2015 and 2017, the current summit is the third demography forum hosted by Budapest. For these two days, Budapest will again be the capital city of families. We have made significant steps in family policy in the past nine years. The Family Protection Plan has been launched along with family taxation and family housing programs. In Hungary today, families that earn an average income and have three children do not pay personal income tax due to tax allowances. Young married couples can apply for an interest-free, 10 million HUF, untied loan, which they do not have to pay back if they have children. An increasing number of nursery places are available, and mothers raising at least four children will soon be relieved from paying income tax for the rest of their lives. We have already seen tangible results from these measures. The number of new marriages has reached a 20-year high. The openness to bearing children is also at a record high, while the number of divorces and abortions have decreased.

Will Europe exist in 100 years? If yes, who will the Europeans be? Will we recognize ourselves among them? Will the European continent be Christian? These are the concerns we face. However, we do not have only questions but we have answers, too. We, Hungarians know what kind of Europe we would like to live in. Hungarian people have made a decision. They have voted. These answers can be learned in detail at the Demography Summit. The conference is not only about Hungary but about all of Europe. Our challenges are partly the same, partly different, but our solutions do not have to be the same. We can learn from each other and that is the aim of the Budapest Demographic Summit. We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

Photo: Mandiner.hu