Prime Minister Viktor Orbán greeted the Chairman of the Azeri parliament, the Serbian president of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bulgarian president at the Budapest Demographic Summit on Thursday. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev is the “guarantee for stability in Bulgaria”, an important ally of Hungary in the fight against illegal migration and in protecting energy security, he said. Orbán said Europe was led by a progressive liberal elite “busy with all kinds of nonsense” instead of important European issues, such as the future of the continent’s demography. He cited a survey of the Matthias Corvinus Collegium, which said that European surveys were biased towards “the fears of the progressive political elite” and did nothing to probe the real concerns of Europeans. “This is the most worrying development in the West in the past 70 years,” he said. Leaders may have “no idea of the real problems of real life” in a dictatorship, but that is unimaginable in a western democracy, he added. European citizens want to be able to start families in safe homes, to raise their children in peace and security. These are “demographic issues, which continue to be far down on the agenda in European politics.” Orbán said the root of that phenomenon was that liberals had “hacked” the political life in the West. Western political life, “the discourse, the outlook, the way of thinking, the interpretation framework of how the world works,” has been hacked by the liberals in two steps, he said. The first step was spreading the view that the individual was the most important thing in the world. “They see dictators in everyone who sets boundaries to their individual wishes,” he said. Those boundaries, however, are also rail guides, he said. The boundaries of family life “are essential for freedom; freedom requires at least two people, one person alone is not free but lonely.” Liberals also tried to “hack” European life by „spreading strategic fears of the future”, the prime minister said. “Liberals strive to keep irrational fears from the future on the agenda, and to magnify them,” he said. Liberals expect people to live submitting all their actions to an impending apocalypse,” he said.
Orbán said “the mindset” of a community was something that defined the future. He added, however, that the western way of thinking prevented the Europeans from being able to identify the most important challenge facing them which he said was demography. He said that instead of addressing the issue of demography, politicians were focusing their attention on how to enforce carbon quotas in the economy and gender quotas in society. “Europe is acting out of fear and fear turns us into defeatists. We say there is no future which thus will become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Orbán said.
The prime minister called Hungary “an incubator house” of conservative policies which he said covered such areas as a labour-based economy, a modern cooperation of state and church and a patriotic education policy.
Speaking about Hungary’s demographic policy, the prime minister listed five goals. Those include promoting the advantages of raising children, government incentives supporting home-building, giving mothers priority “as the pillars of family policy”, turning the entire country’s operation into a family-friendly direction and protecting families with laws.
Speaking about the achievements of his government that took power in 2010, Orbán noted that the per capita income of families raising a child had doubled and that of families raising more children had tripled. He said that a government subsidy scheme had helped every fifth family to buy a new home. Among the family support measures, he noted the personal income exemption for mothers under 30 and the personal income tax exemption for mothers with four children. The personal income tax exemption will be extended to families with three children, he said. “We would normally not admit it, but in Hungary women keep the families together,” Orbán said and praised women for their achievements. He said the most important teaching of Hungarian family policy is that “if you want a future for your country, you must support mothers”. Orbán said that Hungary’s constitution protected the institution of marriage as a union based on a voluntary decision between a man and a woman, as well as the family which forms the basis for the survival of the nation. The present first phase of Hungary’s family policy is concluded, now the next phase can begin, Orbán said. “We have earned a lot of appreciation for what we have done so far, but we consider this to be insufficient, so we must move on,” he said. Orbán said that “we have no chance to convince the present progressive, liberal elites … we must push them aside”. The post-liberal era replacing progressive liberalism “is not going to introduce itself, somebody will have to do it,” he added. “And who is going to do that if not us?” Such a change would require conservative pro-family forces to take power in as many European countries as possible, the prime minister said. Orbán said that “we have everything to turn the balance of power to our advantage” at the European Parliament elections next year. “In the meantime, we, Hungarians have to do our homework and draft ‘programme 2.0’ of Hungarian family policy,” the prime minister said.