Wednesday, June 19, 2019
The Hungarian Parliament. Credits: Andrew Shiva/Wikipedia
On the 13th of June 2019, our 8th General Members’ Assembly was held in the gorgeous city of Budapest. This year we were blessed to welcome two new Sallux member organizations: Integra, Macedonia (Institute for Virtues and Value Based Politics) and Asociación Cristianos en Democracia, Spain (Christian Democratic Association).
Traditionally, the annual Salt & Light event followed the GMA, this time taking place on the 14th of June in the Hungarian Parliament. It was an event with a full programme where key regional NGO’s were welcomed as well. All Sallux members and some representatives of local NGO's were welcomed by our Hungarian member organizations the Barankovics István Alapítvány (The Stephen Barankovics Foundation) and Keresztény Értelmiségiek Szövetségen (Federation of Christian Intellectuals).
Amongst other invited guests at the event were:
- IKSZ családbarát munkacsoport/CDYA family workgroup
- FICSAK – Club for Young Families
Amongst keynote speakers were György Hölvényi (Member of the European Parliament, International Director of KDNP, Christian Democratic People’s Party), Lőrinc Nacsa (Member of Parliament, KDNP) and Nóra Király (president of Club for Young Families).
The conference started with a welcoming speech by Sallux president David Fieldsend followed by an opening speech by Leo van Doesburg, Director of European Affairs ECPM. In his opening speech Mr. van Doesburg highlighted the position of the family in society emphasizing the significance of upholding the traditional family without modifying the definition of family structure. He zoomed in on rethinking the current economic structures and its possible alterations in order to keep fighting for the promotion of the institute of family to be in the core of our policies in politics.
Thereafter, Mr. Hölvényi spoke about how family issues were viewed differently in Hungary, by the Hungarian people and the differences of opinion with the EU Institutions and between EU Member States. According to Mr. Hölvényi family issues are a crucial part of freedom of society and freedom of speech in Europe. He called out to never give this battle up.
Mr. György Hölvényi
At the beginning of the second part of the conference Mr. Lőrinc Nacsa spoke about the changes and transformations made in Hungary to help families uphold their financial assurance turning to examples such as flexible rules on maternity leave, efficient systems of kindergartens and job flexibility. Ultimately the goal is to avoid any financial burden to be an obstacle for the wish to have children in the family.
Ms. Katalin Kardosne Gyurko, president of the National Association of Families in Hungary, presented special services of the association offered to families with multiple issues they face. This organization plays a key role in contributing to transformations in the social popularity of families.
The conference ended with speeches by Hajnalka Juhász (Member of Parliament, KDNP) and Christophe Foltzenlogel (Sallux board member and Advocacy Officer at the European Centre for Law and Justice).
In conclusion, the pressure is high, nevertheless significant actions are undertaken to shape a firm Christian democratic policy for the protection of family rights in the EU.
Sallux thanks all organizations involved for their hard work and efforts for establishing a stable start of the long road ahead.
General Members Assembly