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MÁÉRT 2023..11.16.

"We write the future!"

We must take control of the future, we must write our future, not the forecasts. We need a demographic turnaround. We need to change from a nation with a declining population to a nation with a growing one," said President of Hungary Katalin Novák at an event for members of the Hungarian Permanent Conference and the Hungarian Diaspora Council in Parliament on Thursday.

She stressed that the shrinking of the Hungarian population is not a process that we cannot stop, much rather, the opposite is true. "We must stop the shrinking of the Hungarian population and become a growing nation" the President pointed out. She said that the Carpathian Basin could be a cradle that nurtures children. "So let the Carpathian Basin be the source of the transmission of life".

She recalled that in 30 years, the population of Hungary has decreased by more than 700,000, the number of Hungarians in Romania by more than 600,000, and the number of Hungarians in Serbia has halved, as has the Hungarian community in Croatia. She added that there is no longer even a census in Ukraine, but we probably wouldn't get any more encouraging figures from there, either. 

Katalin Novák stressed that the demographic crisis affects all of us, both within and outside our borders, and this is also true for Hungarians living in the diaspora. She stressed that just because this is a trend witnessed and experienced in the West, we should not accept that it must also be true for Hungarians.

The President of Hungary said that "2024 could be the year of opportunity for all of us", and this exciting year will also reveal the answers we can give together to the conflicts and challenges we face.

She spoke about the upcoming elections in the neighbouring countries and in the world, and said that an election campaign always has an impact on the life of Hungarians, on the everyday life of Hungarians and on the relative peace of Hungarians. Another question is how Europe can emerge from conflicts, how it can face up to challenges, and likewise, it remains to be seen how we, here in the Carpathian Basin, will pass the tests that will come our way in the forthcoming year. Katalin Novák said that public leaders have a duty to represent Hungarian interests, whether we live under the old or under the new, changed circumstances.

"I personally feel it is my duty to persuade the leaders of neighbouring countries to improve the situation of Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, even if it means taking on the stigma of naivety", she said, stressing that it must become natural for Hungary's leaders to have the right to meet their fellow Hungarians at any time.
In her speech, Katalin Novák recalled five memorable settlements, with stories she associates with them, from the period since she took office last May, including Beregszász, Nagykároly and Bácsfeketehegy.

The President of Hungary commemorated the recently deceased István Pásztor, who "set an example of how to remain Hungarian in the most difficult circumstances with humanity, patience, tenacity, ingenuity as well as a sense of reality, and how to represent the cause of the Hungarians".