Polish head of State Andrzej Duda decorated Katalin Novák, Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs of the Ministry of Human Capacities with the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Commander’s Cross “for her outstanding contribution to intensifying Polish-Hungarian relations”. The decoration was handed over by Minister for Family, Labour and Social Policy Marlena Malag at the Polish Embassy in Budapest.

In her laudation, Marlena Malag highlighted that Katalin Novák as initiator of several Polish-Hungarian projects promoting the conception of family-friendly policies has played an active role in the development of common positions on a variety of social issues on the international scene and in the Visegrád cooperation, and is an outstanding advocate of initiatives serving to strengthen social relations. The programme which serves to reinforce the identity of Polish people living in Hungary likewise could not have come into being without her involvement.

The Minister of State has extensive experience in diplomacy, and has achieved a great many results in her political activities as well as in public life, the Polish minister said.

Marlena Malag also pointed out that Poland, similar to Hungary, regards families as the number one priority, and therefore since 2015 family policy has been in the focus of Polish politics.

The Polish government closely follows Hungary’s measures designed to support families, and adopts them wherever possible, she added.

Polish Ambassador Jerzy Snopek said the cooperation of Hungary and Poland in the development of family-friendly policies has been fruitful for both parties. He added that “families are our lifeblood” and therefore family policy and families are important for everyone.

Expressing her gratitude for the decoration, Mrs Novák highlighted that Hungary and Poland have “a mission in Europe” in representing a family-centred approach as, she added, in this they are almost on their own among European governments. The Minister of State said Hungarian-Polish relations are “a wide river flowing” from Budapest to Krakow, and this river is fed by many tributaries which have not dried up to this day. “There was, there is and there will always be a Hungarian-Polish alliance,” she stated.

Poland and Hungary have a thousand-year-long common history, and they help each other out in difficult times. The two countries are working together also with a view to helping families, Mrs Novák said.