Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office welcomed his audience with the text of a prayer attributed St. Francis of Assisi in which the medieval monk asked for serenity to accept the things he cannot change, for courage to change the things he can, and for wisdom to know the difference.

According to the Minister, today this prayer is an important message for everyone who is engaged in public affairs. In today’s free and democratic world, especially in Western Europe, politicians appear to prefer a political course which is often contrary to the values represented by the Hungarian government.

In his welcome address delivered in English, Mr Gulyás indicated it is true that freedom means that everyone can live the way they want to as long as they observe the laws. This, however, he continued, cannot mean that the state is not allowed to define a policy that is based on a clear choice of values.

Not even if standing up for the values of Christian democracy is a particularly dangerous course to follow in politics today, he stated.

The Minister drew attention to the fact that now for thirty years Hungary has lived in freedom and democracy, within the boundaries of the rule of law. Budapest is one of the continent’s most dynamically developing cities, and the Hungarian economy is the European Union’s fastest growing economy.

Yet, if someone is only informed about Hungary from mainstream media, then “either they did not believe what they had read,” or, he addressed the attendees of the demographic summit, “they manifested unbelievable courage by having accepted our invitation”.

Therefore, the attendees of the demographic summit “are either very brave or very clever or both,” Mr Gulyás said.

In her welcome speech, Katalin Novák, Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs of the Ministry of Human Capacities praised “the valuable and exciting speeches” of the demographic summit and “the inspiring contributions” of the attendees. She said “the family-centred – pro-family – network which we are a part and leaders of has gained in strength today”.

(Prime Minister's Office/MTI)