The government’s family policy aims to protect traditional family values while giving young people “broad room for manoeuvre”, Katalin Novák, state secretary for youth and family affairs, has said in an interview published online.
“Some may consider [the policy] ultra-conservative,” she told the French-language Central European Newsletter, adding that it was “simply conservative, modern, maybe progressive even”.
Put to her that the fertility rate may have grown in Hungary but the birth rate had not, Novák said: “Having a child is a very personal decision”.
“Personal decisions have an impact on society and on the economy, and the government must speak up and act,” Novák said. The government, she added, offers financial help to families with children.
The government is helping young mothers in terms of employment, she noted, adding that the employment rate of Hungarian women is at a record high.
On another subject, Novák was asked to comment about studies showing that the Hungarian population was less and less religious despite the government’s commitment to protecting Christian values.
“Christianity and Christian values cannot be restricted to ecclesiastical life; they pervade people’s everyday lives.”
Asked about ruling Fidesz’s membership of the European People’s Party, Novák said that “if we leave the EPP, which is a possibility, we may form an alliance with democratic but not radical conservative parties”.