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Prosperous families are key to sustainable development, a concept uniting environmental, social and economic aspects, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Friday, addressing a conference on family and sustainability. Varga told the 10th Large Family Conference, a three-day event held in Keszthely, in western Hungary, that “credible climate and environment protection is the foundation of family-friendly policies” as it works to ensure a healthy environment and sustainable lifestyle for current and future generations.
Dubravka Šuica, the European Commission’s Vice-President for demography and democracy, said families should be supported “regardless of their size or structure.” The European continent is grappling with the ageing of its population, Šuica said, calling for solidarity between generations.
Addressing the 10th European Large Family Conference on Saturday, Katalin Novák, the minister without portfolio for families, said the Hungarian government’s actions taken since 2010 were proof that it supported families. “Family is the cradle of sustainability,” Novák told a conference organised by the National Association of Large Families and the European Large Families Confederation. Political will, she added, was a chief pillar of sustainable family policy. In 2010, the government chose to link family benefits to work, thereby laying the foundations to increase sums available for this kind of support. Accordingly, next year’s budget contains triple the amount in 2010 for family benefits, Novák noted. If the economy grows by 5.5%, the government plans next year to return a large part of personal income tax to families raising children, she said. Sustainable family policy, the minister said, needs supporters and real communities, noting the three decades of work carried out by the National Association of Large Families. Novák spoke of sustaining the Hungarian nation and its culture and values from one generation to the next. Close to 700 people from eleven countries attended the European Large Family Conference. Professional events were complemented by family programmes such as arts and crafts organised for children.