The Budapest Demographic Summit is the most important international strategic forum on demographic issues since 2015. This year, on 14-15 September, 60 heads of state and government, church leaders, opinion leaders, media personalities, thinkers and NGO leaders from four continents shared their thoughts on how to create a secure and predictable future for families and future generations.
Several representatives from ELFAC were participating in the meeting: Regina Maroncelli, president (Italy), Raul Sanchez, secretary general (Spain), Radek Waszkiewicz and Kinga Joó, vice presidents (Poland and Hungary), Csaba Pastor, from the Slovakian association MÁNCSE and Kata Gyurko, president of NOE, the Hungarian Large Families Association.
The summit is organised every two years by the Hungarian government under the leadership of Katalin Novak, who initiated it as Secretary of State for Families and who, in this edition headed it as President of the Republic of Hungary, under the motto: “Family: The Key to Security”.
During the Summit, speakers talked about the causes of the current global demographic winter, and discussed how to find and propose solutions. In this respect, the “Hungarian model” has become a reference point in the world, as it has been able to prove that a family-centred approach can produce effective and real results. Childbearing and marriage rates have risen at the highest rate among EU Member States, divorce rates have fallen to a six-decade low and the number of abortions has also fallen significantly.
Other political leaders who spoke at the summit included Italian Prime Minister Gorgia Meloni, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Tanzanian Vice-President Philip Isdor Mpango. There was also a panel with ten family ministers from various European, Arab, African and Latin American countries.
The meeting included keynote speeches by Jordan B. Peterson, a famous clinical psychologist; James Heckman, professor at the University of Chicago and Nobel laureate in economics; Gad Saad, evolutionary behavioural scientist and bestselling author from Canada; Wolfgang Lutz, internationally renowned demographer from Vienna; and Nick Vujicic, one of the biggest motivational speakers in the world, between others.
Different panels discussed security from the perspective of families; science and demography; how the new forms of media change families; the challenges of AI for families; family in the ideological debates, or from the eyes of women; etc.
Three representatives of ELFAC, Regina Maroncelli, Radek Waszkiewicz and Kata Gyurko took part in the panel discussion on NGOs in the service of families, highlighting the role of large families, their unfair treatment in many countries, which makes it difficult to have as many children as desired, and the contribution of their lifestyle to a more sustainable planet, with values such as sharing, economy of scale, etc.