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The Hungarian and US governments are cooperating closely on policies in support of families, Katalin Novák, the state secretary of family and youth affairs, said after talks with politicians and researchers in the US. Cooperation between the US and Hungary “in the areas of supporting families and preserving the dignity of human life has been unprecedented,” Novák said, noting the two countries’ participation in the Partnership for Families international initiative launched last month. The initiative now embraced by several countries would, she added, help international organisations to uphold the importance of the family and “protect human life from conception to the moment of natural death”. Novák said her reports of Hungary’s maternity support programmes, under which young mothers receive a monthly allowance for up to three years, had been met with “appreciation” in the US. She added that the US administration, too, was taking significant steps at federal level to promote families. The fact that the number of marriages in Hungary is at a 40-year high, and the number of births had increased by 20 percent since 2010, was also welcomed, she said.
The state secretary called it a serious problem that Europe had “neglected demographic issues” in the past few decades. “No country in Europe can be self-sustaining because young people’s readiness to have children is low,” she said, adding that it was worrying that “some countries would prefer to solve the problem through immigration rather than providing incentives to young people to have families”.
During her visit, Novak met Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, as well as researchers of the American Enterprise Institute.