The Hungarian community’s number one issue is that from an ageing and diminishing nation it should turn into a younger and multiplying nation, the Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs at the Ministry of Human Capacities stressed on Wednesday in Tusnádfürdő.

At the stage discussion entitled A Sustainable Society, A Sustainable Nation held at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp (Tusványos), Katalin Novák pointed out that today there is not a single European nation where children are born in sufficient numbers, and yet in public discourse the reasons for this are not being tackled.

She said social research proves that the Hungarian people are family-centred, those in their twenties would typically like to live in marriage and would like to have several children. Despite this, today in ten families hardly more than 15 children are born, and this, too, represents a major step forward compared with the fact that at the 2011 low point only 12 children were born in every ten families.

Mrs Novák highlighted it is important that the demographic trend which has changed in response to the family-friendly policy introduced in 2010 should prove a long-term one. The number of abortions has decreased by 30 per cent in the past few years, and the infant mortality rate is also on the decrease. Hungary “goes against” the European trend also in this respect, she concluded.

“We would not like external resources, we do not rely on immigration. Instead we say that we would like to better use our internal resources. We would like to induce long-term changes”, the Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs of the Ministry of Human Capacities said.

Béla Kató, Bishop of the Transylvanian Reformed Church District expressed his conviction that education in responsible community mentality also forms part of the effort to encourage the births of more children so that the notion of a conscious sacrifice undertaken in the best interests of children should prevail over the selfish notion of those living under the spell of consumption who constantly refer to the ideal of “self-realisation”. He believes it is a promising sign that recently more children have been born in Hungarian intellectual circles and in urban communities in Transylvania. For instance, in the Sepsiszentgyörgy “Vártemplom” community – for the first time in half a century – there have been more christenings than funerals.

Gábor Csató, Director General of the National Ambulance Service stressed the importance of educating people in communal awareness and readiness to extend a helping hand in the community, adding that Hungary’s largest health care institution seeks to contribute to encouraging people to help one another, to the development of responsible thinking and to health-centred education in full awareness of its own social role.

Zoltán Lőrinczi, Deputy State Secretary for the development of Hungarian education in the Carpathian Basin took the view that it gives rise to optimism that while European self-awareness is growing ever weaker, the self-awareness of the Hungarian community has recently gained in strength. In his view, this is a determining resource in the long-term – meaning “sustainable” – survival and growth of the Hungarian community in the Carpathian Basin.