The demographic crisis is a key challenge of our time, and if we do not provide a pro-family response, the future of Europe could be at risk, said President Katalin Novák in her speech on Hungary’s role in Europe at the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) in Interlaken on Thursday.
Katalin Novák stressed that Hungary, as well as Europe, has been facing a serious demographic challenge in the last decades. She added that one response to this phenomenon, which many countries have, is immigration, and another is what Hungary has chosen to do so: to support families and increase the birth rate.
The president stressed that Hungary has a family-friendly policy, and the government is spending 6% of GDP on family support, the highest in the world.
She emphasized that it was important for those who have children to have an economic and financial advantage. Listing measures in Hungary, she highlighted the availability of free nursery care and the possibility of reducing student loans or mortgages for those who have children. In addition, in Hungary, women who have at least four children will never have to pay personal income tax.
Novák also spoke about economic issues in her speech, recalling that the unemployment rate was above five percent in 2010, but is now below four percent. Moreover, the number of people in employment was 3.75 million in 2010, and is now 4.7 million.
The president also highlighted that Hungary has been a member of the European Union for almost 20 years, and the Central and Eastern European region has also become stronger in these decades.
According to her, Hungary has experienced and learned a lot about the functioning of democracy, the freedom they have regained, and about independence. She stressed that the country is part of Europe, part of the European Union, and that no change is expected in this respect, adding that she sees it as her duty to speak about Hungarians and their customs everywhere in the world.
Featured photo via MTI/Bruzák Noémi