Hungary is the most persevering advocate of cause of families and demography

Hungary is the loudest and most persevering advocate of the cause of families and demography in international politics, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said at the 5th Budapest Demographic Summit on Thursday. The Prime Minister also said the 2.0 program of Hungarian family policy must be compiled, and asked the attendees in conclusion “to achieve a common European family policy turnaround together.”

Mr Orbán stressed the Hungarian government is being attacked by the liberal world in vain for being family-friendly, conservative and patriotic, “this only steels our determination; there is no change.” If someone believes that by urging us and exerting pressure, they are able to achieve a change, they do not know the Hungarian people, he observed.

In this context, he recalled an anecdote about the wife taking her husband to task over the fact that he never tells her that he loves her. The husband then says that 50 years ago he already told her he loved her, and if there is any change, he will let her know.

“The Hungarian government takes a similar stance on this: if there is a change, we’ll let you know,” he said.

Welcoming the attendees of the conference, he stressed that a very large number of guests had honoured the event with their presence. This shows that the issue of family and children mobilises people in every part of the world.

He recalled that two years have passed since the previous demographic summit, and since then “much water has flown down the River Danube,” the world has changed, “we’re living in the shadow of a war.” At the same time, he said in continuation that important and good things have happened, too, including that Giorgia Meloni and the Italian Right have won the elections in Italy, describing it as a fantastic achievement. In his view, this happened “at the very last moment,” they were beginning to believe that Italy would never again have a patriotic, family-loving and Christian government. He agreed with the Italian Prime Minister that Europe’s future lies in families, and it is important that “a child should have both a mother and a father.”

He described the friendship between the two countries as “dating back to many years;” in his view, both Italy and Hungary are “countries of freedom fighters” where people know that “there is no freedom without authority as that leads to chaos, and there is no authority without freedom because that leads to tyranny.”

He welcomed Azerbaijan’s Speaker of the House, the Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bulgarian president whom he described as representing stability in Bulgaria. He said this was important, stressing that in the fight against illegal migration and the protection of energy security, we can only prove to be successful together with Bulgaria.

Mr Orbán said Europe is still led by a progressive and liberal elite; instead of Europe’s important questions such as the continent’s demographic future, this elite is busy concentrating on all kinds of “gibberish and absurdity.”

He said the Soviets wanted to reverse the flow of certain rivers; they believed that it was possible to override the world’s created order.

He added this is what came to mind when two years ago the European Parliament voted for a resolution, stating that men too are capable of giving birth.

The plan of the Soviets failed miserably, and he does not predict a great future for the liberals either, he said.

He said another absurdity was when the Soviets banned the word ‘Christmas,’ and people were required to use the term ‘pine festivity’ instead. Mr Orbán highlighted that this was exactly what had come to mind when he had read about the European Commission’s plan to require their workers to not wish a ‘Merry Christmas’ because “it’s not LGBTQ-friendly enough” and neither is it neutral ideologically.

The Prime Minister spoke about an analysis of the Mathias Corvinus Collegium which concluded that the direction of surveys in the EU tends to reflect solely the fears of the progressive political elite, and make no mention of any issues that genuinely interest the people.

This is the most worrying development that has occurred in the West in the past seventy years, he stressed. He said in a dictatorship it may well be possible that the leaders have no idea about the actual problems of real life. He said he believed it was inconceivable, however, that this should happen in a western democracy.

According to Mr Orbán, European citizens are interested in how to establish families, how to create safe homes and how they can raise their children in peace and security. These are issues of demography, and yet, today, they are not among the most important items on the agenda in European politics.

The Prime Minister said this is so because the liberals had hijacked Western politics, the discourse, the worldview, the way of thinking, the framework for the construction of the way in which the world functions in two steps: anthropologically and in a strategic sense.

The Prime Minister said the first step was that the progressive liberals started spreading the view that the individual is the most important in the world. They see despotism in anything and anyone who seeks to set barriers to their individual desires, he said, adding that barriers also serve as support in life.

He said living together as a family, too, represents a barrier of some kind, but without it there is no freedom; freedom takes minimum two individuals, and those who are on their own are lonely, not free.

He said as a second step the liberals started scaremongering, talking about fear of the future on a strategic level.

“Where the individual has no other support than himself, where there is no other measure than individual pleasure and profit, an irrational fear of the future easily knocks on the door,” he said, indicating that the goal of the liberals is to keep this on the agenda and to magnify it.

In his view, the liberals expect people to live by subjecting every one of their actions to an imminent doomsday. Mr Orbán said he clearly remembers that this is what Karl Marx, too, asked of the people.

For Central Europeans steeled in communism, the western elites’ way of thinking is nothing short of a nightmare, Mr Orbán said at the demographic summit.

In continuation, the Prime Minister said the thinking, the frame of mind or mindset of a community also determines the future, and the thinking of the western elites prevents us from being able to even identify the most important challenge facing us, the issue of demography.

He said, instead politics is busy enforcing carbon quotas in the economy and gender quotas in society.

Europe acts out of fear, and fear makes us defeatist. We say there is no future, and this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, he said.

Mr Orbán stated organising a demographic summit was a duty equally for the future, children and civilisation.

The Prime Minister described Hungary as an incubator house of conservative policies. As part of those conservative policies, he mentioned the workfare economy, the modern form of cooperation between state and church, and patriotic education policy. He stated, however, that in none of these areas do we have quite as promising results as we do in demography.

He said in Hungary demographic policy has set five goals for itself: to make the raising of children an advantage, for the government to help family housing, that family policy must be based on mothers, that the functioning of the whole country must be made family-friendly, and that families must also be protected with the means of the law.

He stressed that since 2010 the income per capita of families with children has doubled, while the income per capita of families with multiple children has increased three-fold. “In Hungary, it is not only the degree of joy that increases with the number of children, but also the people’s annual income,” he said, adding that since the introduction of housing benefits, every fifth family has acquired a new home.

He also said in Hungary the biggest threat facing mothers is that they may have to cope with all the difficulties on their own. He said while earlier only half of children were born in marriage, today three children out of four are.

The government has introduced personal income tax exemption for mothers under thirty, while mothers with four children or more are not required to pay income tax at all, he said, announcing that the government will also extend this to mothers of three.

“We don’t usually admit it, but in actual fact here in Hungary women keep families together,” he said, praising the outstanding performance of women. He said the most important conclusion of Hungarian family policy is that “if you want a future for your country, you must support mothers.”

He also said in Hungary the Constitution protects the institution of marriage as a voluntary union between one woman and one man as well as the family as the basis for the survival of the nation.  

The Prime Minister also highlighted that the first phase of family policy had been concluded; phase two is ready to start. They have already reached everyone they could with the measures introduced so far, and now they are working to figure out how to further develop Hungary’s family policy, he added.

He said “we have received much praise for what we have done so far, but we believe it’s too little; we need to move on,” and start phase two. This would require ever further support, “but even if we had an unlimited supply of money which we don’t, even that would not be enough,” he pointed out.  
He added that the battle fought for children is decided not in the pockets, but in the heads, or to be more precise, in the hearts. And to be even more precise, in public perception. We must replace the liberal discourse which sees the raising of children as a threat, a senseless sacrifice, while family life as a barrier to the individual’s fulfilment, he stated.

He observed that “when I grew up, and when many children were still being born, there was no debate about what family was. At the time, in my favourite cartoon, the song was about mum and dad, children, a heart full of joy, and love. And this was then not changed by debates about ‘Why didn’t I marry Pisti Hufnágel instead?’ he added, recalling an old cartoon about a family where the husband and the wife did not always see eye to eye.

Mr Orbán said “we don’t stand a chance trying to make the current progressive liberal elites come to reason, we don’t stand a chance of convincing them. We have no chance at all.” Therefore, “we must simply just push them to one side.” The post-liberal era that we are waiting for – that will eventually replace the current progressive liberal era – “will not come of its own, someone must achieve that,” he pointed out.

“And who will achieve that if not us of all people?,” he asked in continuation. He said for this they must change the political scenery; we need a change of course, we must achieve that family-friendly, conservative forces should rise to power in as many European countries as possible.

He highlighted that next year elections will be held in the European Parliament; everything is given “to turn the balance of power in our favour with a pincer movement.” And in the meantime, we Hungarians must do our homework here at home, we must gain new impetus, and we must compile the 2.0 program of Hungarian family policy.

At the end of his address, Mr Orbán wished the attendees: “may family-friendly forces win the elections back in your countries; next spring, let us win the elections in the European Parliament together, and let us achieve a common European family policy turnaround together.”


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