Family, cradle, child: our future.
There are so many different situations in life. Some people have children, others don’t, some families are small, others are large. Some find their companions for life right away, others have different courses of life to follow. Some are raising children with disabilities, others have children early in life, some wait for the wonder for years and years, and there are also those who have the opportunity to raise children through adoption.
One common thing, shared by all of us, is that family is the foundation of our personal lives, of our cohesion, a connection, a point of reference, the most natural medium that provides security for most of us, in which we spend much of our lives.
In recent decades, family has also appeared in the dimension of politics and ideological debates as well. The Western world, including Hungary, is facing serious demographic challenges: no sufficient number of children are born in any of these countries for maintaining the local populations in the long term; the age at which couples have their first children is growing and many young couples eventually give up having children altogether. At the same time, there are various movements pointing to having children and starting families as being responsible for today’s challenges.
This is why the position, welfare and well-being of families and the condition of their environment, have become the most important national strategy issue. As responsible decision makers we must use everything at our disposal to create the conditions for ensuring that the children young couples wish to have are actually born because the future of Hungary lies in children.
Hungary is playing a pioneering role in strengthening families raising children and in enabling longed-for children to be born as well as in protecting family values. Making Hungary a family-friendly country is agreed with and supported with by the overwhelming majority of Hungarians. Hungary can boast itself on having and operating the most extensive and most innovative family support system, and on having achieved unparalleled demographic results.
The number of young couples wishing to have children, and that of new weddings, have increased most in Hungary. The number of divorces is at a six-decade low and the number of abortions has also dropped by 40%. An increasing number of companies, municipal governments, hotels and restaurants have been adopting family-friendly practices. Playgrounds are being refurbished and recreational programmes are being offered for families all over Hungary.
There is still a lot to do to make Hungary a truly family-friendly country but we have made an awful lot of progress in ensuring balance between family and work, in improving the situations of single-parent families and in supporting large families. All Hungarians can be proud of these achievements.