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NOVÁK: HUNGARY FAMILY POLICIES GAINING INTL RECOGNITION

 

Hungary’s demographic figures show the success of the government’s family policies, which have received international recognition, Katalin Novák, the minister for families, said in London. Though Hungary’s demographics are still broadly negative, important indicators are headed in the right direction, Novák told Hungarian and British reporters, noting that Hungary’s fertility rate has increased to 1.56 from 1.23 since 2011, the biggest rise in the European Union. Britain, on the other hand, is seeing a decline in its fertility rate, the minister said. Meanwhile, the number of marriages in Hungary over the past decade has doubled, also the biggest increase in the EU, she said. Further, the employment of women in Hungary has increased at the second highest rate in the bloc, Novák said, adding that the mothers were active on the job market. Next year’s budget, she said, allocates 6.2% of GDP to family support, as against the OECD average of 2.55%.
Novák said she had always been in favour of the EU, and still believed that Hungary’s interests were best served as a member of the bloc. She added, however, that the European Commission was gradually taking on a political role out of line with its original function, and its members were also making more and more “baseless” political statements. In such a situation, anything can happen to any member state, “and this isn’t just about Hungary or Poland”, Novák said. Meanwhile, she said the Hungarian government saw migration not as something that was necessary, but as a potential threat. Hungary will not interfere when it comes to any other country’s support for migration, but the Hungarian government will not support it, Novák added.