Hungary is the Mecca of family-centered thinking, because we are the place where it is worth meeting in order to think together about the most important issues affecting families, said President Katalin Novák in her interview to InfoRadio’s Aréna program.
Speaking about the 5th Budapest Demographic Summit starting on Thursday, she said that the event has been held every two years since 2015, and this year it will bring together heads of state and government, as well as leaders of historic churches, to reflect together on the most important issues affecting families.
Katalin Novák stressed that not only subsidies and financial incentives are needed, but also family-centered thinking, family discussion, and family-oriented life in Hungary.
At the same time, not having enough children is not just a Hungarian phenomenon, it is the same everywhere in the developed Western world, she added.
“If we just think about the fact that there is not a single country in Europe today that has enough children to even maintain its population – so we are not talking about population growth – then we can sense how big the problem is.
Or I could quote Elon Musk, who said that the demographic challenge is now more serious than the climate crisis, it is a bigger problem for the future of the developed world.
I am also inclined to take that as a true statement. It is a problem for Europe as a whole, and indeed for the Western world as a whole. Indeed, some suggest that it will catch up with the whole world, even the developing world, in time,” Novák remarked.
On the war in Ukraine, the president said she misses frank, open discussions in a closed circle. She also pointed out that Hungary’s relationship with Russia would have to be defined, and that a point would have to be reached where Ukraine does not crumble, so that fewer lives are lost in the war. She emphasized that we are witnessing a step back in the case of the rights of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia (formerly part of Hungary, now in Ukraine), and mentioned that she personally drew the attention of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to this in their meeting in August.
Speaking about being a female politician, Novák said that the fact that a woman is president of Hungary today is encouraging for many women.
It tells them that there is no goal they cannot reach, that they can achieve what they have set themselves.
Novák also stressed that she wanted to make the image of Hungary, which has been deliberately negatively influenced, more realistic. She emphasized that when she travels to a distant country where Hungarians live in a large or even small but cohesive community, she tries to seize every opportunity to meet them.
It is my personal experience that those who have been here, say, in the last few years and those who have not, but read about us or try to find out about us, have a very different impression of Hungary.
I will perhaps not be revealing any surprises if I say that those who come here in person typically have a significantly better personal experience, by light years, than those who get their information about Hungary from reading very biased opinions. I want to make the consciously formed, negatively influenced image of us more realistic. Not to improve it, but simply to make it more realistic,” she emphasized.
Featured photo via Facebook/Katalin Novák