A family-friendly Europe

2018. 12. 17.

Press release by György Hölvényi and Kinga Gál (November 27)

A conference entitled “Towards a more family-friendly Europe” was organized in the European Parliament by György Hölvényi, MEP (Fidesz–KDNP), and the National Association of Large Families (NOE). In addition to the MEPs, the event was also attended and presentations were also given by lecturers of family policy specialists, family activists, sociologists, and young people from 11 European countries in the framework of the “European Youth Initiative for Future Families.”

The central idea of the conference was to discuss what policymakers, young people, and NGOs could do to make families’ roles more important in the future of Europe. Each lecturer reported on his or her experience and presented case studies on the related fields and countries. The event was attended by, among others, Jan Ledóchowski, a member of the Austrian Work and Career Movement; Balázs Molnár, head of the Kopp Maria Institute; and Regina Maroncelli, President of the European Large Families Association.

Dr. Attila Beneda, Deputy State Secretary for Family and Population Policy, said, “In Hungary, 2018 is the Year of Families. So, as the end of the year approaches, we can say that we have tried to focus more and more on family values and provide more support for Hungarian families. Since 2010, we have been continuously expanding the family support system, of which Hungary has become a leader in Europe. Our aim is for young people who are thinking about starting a family to receive subsidies for creating a home, for raising children, or for childcare through the nursery service, to help them feel bold enough to say yes to having a child.”

MEP Kinga Gál, speaking at the conference, stressed that “[t]he most basic living cell of society is the family from which the social ecosystem is built. Only strong families can make Europe strong. That is why investing in family-friendly initiatives and policies means investing in the future. With this in mind, Hungary has been paying great attention to supporting families for years.”

György Hölvényi, member of the Christian Democratic Party, emphasized that “[t]here is a family conference in the European Parliament from time to time with the participation of young adults before marriage because this generation can be the solution to the greatest challenges of our days. They are the ones who can lead Europe out of the demographic downturn, who can turn around European population trends. Every effort must be made to help families that are ready to raise children.”

“The first thing we can do for a family-friendly Europe is to take advantage of the opportunities that are provided by the communities behind our association,” said Katalin Kardosné Gyurkó, President of NOE, in her welcoming remarks as a co-organizer of the event. “European policy must take account of the wide range of social needs represented by family organizations. Our job is to make our opinion heard effectively and clearly by politicians.”

Young adults from the program series called European Youth Initiative for Future Families also held talks at the conference. The purpose of the series of events was to empower young people with professional knowledge in the field of family affairs, which could help them to work effectively in civil organizations, in politics, or in other spheres for families in their own country and in Europe. Young adults talked about what kind of expectations they have for after the next European elections and said, “Families are the most precious treasures of Europe and the future of a country.”