Briefing notes

Hungarian government seeks to meet people’s needs

Behind the Hungarian government's actions lies a complex way of thinking that takes into account people's basic needs.

Speaking at the Budapest Eurasia Forum 2022, Minister for Culture and Innovation János Csák said that competition and cooperation between different parts of the world will be decided by who can deliver the deepest human needs.

It is up to the government to create the conditions for people to care for themselves, their loved ones and their communities. A good society is not one in which the government offers ready-made solutions, but one in which individuals are able to thrive on the basis of their own resources and luck, he added.

The minister noted that Hungarian society values peace and security, given that the country has had two wars in its neighborhood in the past 30 years. He said that the government is giving priority to the issues of reproduction, technological sustainability and the transfer of experience to future generations.

Csák said there are some issues that keep him up at night, one of them being the fertility rate. 

He added that women should be helped to have their first child before the age of 29, the current EU average, and have time for a second and third child. The government wants to promote this by making the labor market more flexible and by providing better family tax credits, he stressed.

Another problem area, the minister said, was the middle-income trap that characterizes dual economies like Hungary’s. The government’s ambition is to increase the country’s domestic share of production, strengthen the small and medium-sized enterprise sector, make it more innovative, and increase the number of developers. Without this, it is difficult to imagine financing family policy in the longer term, he stressed.

Finally, Minister Csák added that for the government, culture is more than just a work of art, it is a way of thinking and a way of life, which is the basis for running the economy. It is no coincidence that the country spends 1.3 percent of GDP in this area, compared to the EU average of 0.5 percent, he said.

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