An increase in the number of marriages is particularly rare in Europe, and Hungary may serve as a model for how to reverse a shrinking population and mobilise internal resources to secure the country’s future, the state secretary in charge of family and youth affairs told daily Magyar Nemzet in an interview published on Saturday.
The Hungarian government’s family protection action plan was one of last year’s “greatest gains”, Katalin Novák told the paper.
The scheme has created unprecedented opportunities for young Hungarians in their own country; rare by international comparison, she said.
Many have already shown interest in the scheme, Novák said, noting that as many as 100,000 families have received some form of support.
Most popular so far is a 10 million forint government loan for young couples planning to have children, Novák said, adding that this form of support helped couples start a family without having to depend on their parents.
Young Hungarians tend to conceive of their future in terms of having a family, Novák said, adding that the family support scheme is about helping mothers decide whether to use their skills in the family or in a career; or if they choose, both.
Meanwhile, concerning the ruling Fidesz party’s suspension as a member of the European People’s Party, Novák said none of EPP’s representatives had paid a visit to Hungary.
“We said right at the beginning that our party’s decision to suspend its EPP membership was made hastily, because we have not made any decisions about which political community we’d like to work with in future,” said Novák.
Fidesz will wait and see whether the EPP upholds traditional Christian Democratic values in the new European Parliament or ends up departing from them and shifting towards a pro-migration stance, she said.
“Fidesz represents the will of the majority of Hungarians,” she said.
“We stand for a Europe of nations and for Christian culture, and we will not support migration.”
“We’re happy to cooperate with those who think responsibly along the same lines about the future of the European peoples,” Novák added.
Ruling Fidesz will in the future also work with its allies on a principled basis, Novák said.
“Should this mean with the People’s Party, then with the People’s Party, if with others, then with others,” she said, adding that it may also consider forming a new political community.