Hungary’s family minister: Solution to Europe’s demographic decline is not migration, but increased support for families

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Europe can solve its demographic decline by promoting strong families and higher birthrates instead of mass immigration, and Hungary’s pro-family policies are helping show the way for others, State Minister for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novák said in an interview with national channel Kossuth Rádió.

During the interview, Novák highlighted that the Hungarian government’s ambition to reverse negative demographic trends with domestic resources is showing its success.

Novák said it was good to see that those who warned the Hungarian government about spending taxpayers’ money on raising the number of births in Hungary was a futile exercise have been proven wrong, as there is an increasing number of couples who are willing to assume the sacrifices involved in having children.

“The number of marriages hasn’t been this high in 40 years and the number of divorces is a 60-year low,” Novák said. “Couple relations also seems to stabilize, probably also as a result of better material conditions.”

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s conservative government entered an uphill battle against a then 38-year trend of falling population in the spring of 2018 when he promised “family-oriented governance”.

“In all of Europe there are fewer and fewer children, and the answer of the West to this is migration,” said Orbán in 2018. “They want as many migrants to enter as there are missing kids, so that the numbers will add up. We Hungarians have a different way of thinking. Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children. Migration for us is surrender.”

Novák said to Kossuth Rádió that since 2018, many tangible initiatives have been implemented, such as family tax breaks, housing loans for couples wanting children and the development of Hungary’s kindergarten system.

She added, however, that probably the biggest single change was that since it came to power in 2010, the conservative government managed to reduce unemployment from 12 percent to under four percent.

“People can have an honest work that is not only nominal but has merits, and they feel that they are contributing to the advancement of the country with their efforts,” Novák said. She reminded that at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is threatening livelihoods, Orbán has made a promise to create “as many jobs as the virus will destroy”.

The European Commission believes that migration is part of the solution, which Hungary firmly rejects. On the European Commission website, it states, “Countries with low fertility rates such as Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland could require a significant number of immigrants over the coming decades if they want to maintain the existing number of people of working age.”

As previously reported by Remix News, Hungary has also managed to increase births 9.4 percent year-on-year, a figure touted as further proof of the government’s successful family policies.

Unlike many Western countries, which are attempting to solve their demographic problems of an aging population and the decline of births through encouraging immigration, Hungary has chosen the path of solving the problem in-country and after some initial skepticism in international circles, the initiative is now gaining respect. Some countries are now even sending demographic experts to study the successful “Hungarian model”.


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