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Hungary is today “the Mecca” of family-focused policies, the place to gather for discussing family-related matters together, President Katalin Novák told commercial broadcaster Inforádió late on Tuesday. Speaking about this week’s Budapest International Demographic Summit, Novák noted that it had been organised biannually since 2015. The summit to be held on September 14-15 will this time be attended by heads of state and government as well as leaders of the main churches. In connection with family affairs, the president highlighted the importance of family-centred thinking, discussions about families and a family-focused life in addition to financial incentives. Novák also spoke about the Russia-Ukraine war, the situation of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region and her diplomatic work. In connection with the war in Ukraine, the president said she would welcome “earnest, open talks” behind closed doors. Novák said it would be helpful to have the opportunity to talk at meetings with the leaders of states or governments “in a lot more informal terms” about possibilities regarding the war, and about the ways and limits of providing support without getting involved in it. She noted “a setback” as regards the rights of ethnic Hungarians in Transcarpathia, adding that she had personally called the attention of the Ukrainian president to the issue during her visit.
Speaking about her diplomatic activities, Novák said she had intentionally paid her first official visit as new president to Warsaw. She said she nurtured a good personal relationship with President Andrzej Duda which she said she believed “could help Hungary a lot”. The president highlighted her goal “to make the negative image formed intentionally about Hungary more realistic”. Novák said she would seize every opportunity to meet local Hungarian communities, even if small in size, during every visit paid to a far-flung country.