“Family: the key to sustainability”: that was the central theme of the IV Budapest Demographic Summit, held on September 23 and 24, with the presence of leaders of five European governments, and scientists, academics, politicians, businessmen, civic and religious leaders of 18 countries.
In addition to the host, the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, the Prime Ministers of Slovenia, Janez Jansa; from the Czech Republic, Andrej Babis; from the Republika Srpska (one of the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Milorad Dodik; the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic. Also present was the former Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence. All participated as speakers.
From the Summit emerged the Declaration on the Demographic Renewal of Europe that commits its signatories to encourage married couples to have children, promote fair wages and the development of work-based economies through the implementation of effective family policies. It also urges the European Union to consider demographics when shaping its policies. So far, it has been signed by Babis, Jansa, Orbán and Vucic.
“There is no alternative to the family. Common thinking and action are needed. There is no sustainable development without having children. The biggest problem in the Western world is that not enough children are born. We have to stand up for traditional values and to make decisions that support families”–, said Katalin Novák, Hungarian Family Minister and President of the Political Network for Values at the event.
She also declared that the Hungarian government is committed to a solid and consistent family-centered government policy.
Marion Maréchal, the president of the Institut des Sciences Sociales, économiques et politiques in Lyon says that politics in the West does not deal with the issue of a family because it exiles it to the private sphere. Supporting families is a rewarding investment for society, however, a paradigm shift is needed to make this essential investment a reality –, stressed Maréchal.
Former US Vice President Mike Pence, in his address, emphasized the importance of family values: ‘For our civilization to prosper, if we are to pass on the rights, the freedoms and the values that we cherish to the next generation, our highest priority must be to preserve, renew and strengthen the families upon which our nation and our civilizations have been built.’
Pence said Hungary and other countries in the region had shown that the right leadership and the right solutions could succeed in reversing population decline.
You can watch here the video of the two days of the IV Budapest Demographic Summit, with all the exhibitions.