By Balázs Molnár
Almost all countries in the developed world face significant demographic challenges, and no country in Europe today has enough children to support themselves. Life expectancy at birth is lengthening, so that fewer and fewer workers have to provide for a growing number of inactive older people. However, after decades of honest work, a generation of older people would rightly expect it to be seen with recognition and appreciation and not as a sustainability problem. Most developed economies are already facing significant labour shortages in the short term, especially in highly skilled jobs.
But European decision-makers do not mention promoting the birth of European children as a solution. Instead, they are pushing for immigration, and since it is the least suitable for meet the needs of their economies for skilled labor, they are being deducted from the countries that have joined since 2004. The positive impact of the mass influx of migrants on labour markets is refuted by the recent news that Deutsche Post is hiring delivery workers from Hungary.
EU data for the decade 2010-2020 show that countries that wanted to reduce depopulation not by promoting migration but by supporting the birth of their own children and strengthening families have seen a sustained increase in the birth rate. Of all the EU Member States, Hungary has seen the largest increase in the birth rate – by a quarter. The significance of this positive change is perhaps better reflected in the fact that 115,000 more Hungarian babies were born in Hungary in the past decade than if the willingness to have children had remained at the level of 2010.
Over the past decade, the birth rate has fallen in 16 Member States and increased in 11, with only Germany (11%) among Member States with a liberal immigration policy, while among Member States that oppose immigration and promote the prosperity of their own families, Hungary, all Visegrad partners, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania have seen a significant increase. By contrast, birth rates in the main countries of migration, such as France, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, have also fallen significantly.
Supporting the birth of children that European citizens want is also essential for the preservation and care of our Judeo-Christian culture.
It is encouraging to note that the overwhelming majority of European citizens are still family-oriented and want more than two children on average, with only five percent looking for childlessness as an ideal. It is now about nothing less than the survival of the European peoples on the one hand and the preservation of a mentality and culture for future generations that is unique for Hungarians, Czechs, Poles, Slovaks, Germans, French, Balts, Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, Italians, etc., on the other.
Today, Hungary and Central Europe have become the standard bearers and most important advocates for the cause of families. The declared goal of the pro-family government is to bring together all those who want to do something for families and to form an international pro-family alliance. For this reason, Hungary is hosting the Budapest Demography Summit for the fourth time. The event will be attended by heads of state and government, church and NGO leaders, ministers, researchers, academics, business leaders and journalists to advocate for the cause of families.
We are pleased that this year, in addition to the President of the Republic of Serbia, the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad countries and Slovenia, the former Vice-President of the United States of America and the Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be present. This prestigious political showcase is also a confirmation of our country’s pronatalist policies, because it shows that we are not alone, that we can learn from each other’s ideas and best practices, that we can help overcome challenges and exchange experiences.
This year, the summit will focus on the sustainable future of our planet. There will also be many voices that blame climate change, at least in part, having children and extended family life. Many young people could be discouraged by these opinions and abandon their plans to have children or have fewer children, especially since many well-known personalities also hold this view. It is important to make it clear that protecting our environment, our ecosystem, is a shared responsibility. Family members are aware of this responsibility because they want to preserve a livable and diverse environment for their children and grandchildren. It is therefore no coincidence, as the international research of our institute shows, that the vast majority of family members educate their children in an environmentally conscious way, that they take environmental protection seriously, that they take separate waste collection for granted and that it also contributes to sustainability through the increased use of household items, clothing and cars: the ecological footprint per capita is among family members. significantly smaller than in people without children. The causes of the ecological crisis are to be rooted in a globalist economic system that encourages overconsumption, and not in families and families with children.
The traditional family, traditional marriage, having children and raising children are now under constant ideological attack.
The words of St. John Paul II are therefore as relevant today as they were in Warsaw in 1979. “Don’t be afraid!”
The participants of the Fourth Budapest Demography Summit are not afraid to make a commitment to the family, to having and educating children, because without children there is no sustainable future.
The author is Vice President of the Mária Kopp Institute for Population and Families
Source: Magyar Nemzet