Edited by Anna Popper

A delegation of the Italian Parliamentary Committee for Childhood and Adolescence, representing different political parties, led by Senator Simone Pillon, from Lega (League Party), paid an official visit to Hungary. The aim of their mission was to study the family policy of the Hungarian government and acquire useful elements on support of the family and to get inspiration through the meetings and discussions with senior Hungarian officials of ministries and the Parliament. Among the members of the delegation – representing Fratelli d’Italia and MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S) political parties – were State Senator Tiziana Drago, State Senator Maria Laura Mantovani and Mrs Carmela Grippa, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament.

On this important occasion, H.E. Manuel Jacoangeli, Ambassador of Italy and his wife, Mrs. Tanja Jacoangeli hosted a dinner at the Residence on 29 June 2022, attended by Hungarian officials, representatives of political parties, cultural and academic circles, and leaders of NGOs for family and children.

In his speech, the Head of Mission addressed the guests:

“It is with great pleasure that my wife and I welcome the Italian Parliamentary Delegation for Children and Adolescents, and its President who unfortunately was unable to come due to unforeseen political commitments. I greet his Deputy President, Mr Simone Pillon, an eminent personality and a central point of reference in the political, cultural and Catholic associations’ world, and the Honourable Parliamentarians who arrived with him, as well as the numerous Hungarian political authorities, Members of Parliament, representatives of civil society working on family themes, present here. A special welcome and thanks to the President of the Hungarian Parliamentary Commission, Hon. Lőrinc Nacsa, and to Hon. István Hiller, great friends of Italy.

As we have been aware for several years, Italy and Hungary – like most European countries – are confronted with demographic problems, which represent essential challenges for the prospects of our societies and which must be addressed with adequate policies in favour of families. To reverse the unsatisfactory trends that characterise the current situation in Europe, it appears necessary to increase the support of families and parents in all respects, eliminating the many constraints that discourage motherhood today.

The visit of the Italian Parliamentary Delegation to Budapest is part of that process of elaboration, exchange of experiences and best practices, necessary to develop an effective network of family policy measures, protection and support of families, being central units of our societies, defining those paths that alone can lead us to reverse the decline of our populations and guarantee that future which is represented precisely by our children.

In Hungary, through the program of the new government, the new Executive appears very committed to pursue policies in support of families – which was led by the current President of the Republic in the last legislature – through a series of specific measures, ranging from checks and subsidised home loans to families, basically a support plan for families with children or planning to have kids; state aid for state-subsidised residential construction for the purchase and construction of new and second-hand homes, a “Baby Expectation” loan line with very favourable conditions to encourage motherhood; to a state-subsidised housing renovation program to renovate the obsolete part of the Hungarian housing stock, obtainable for families with expecting children or with children under the age of 25, etc. etc.

In summary, as Deputy State Secretary for the Family Dr. Attila Beneda pointed out in a meeting with our Parliamentary Delegation, the Hungarian government works to ensure that all the desired children could come into the world, eliminating the obstacles that stand in the way of the objectives of families.

I believe that – even more so in current terms – the meeting of the Italian Parliamentary Delegation with competent Hungarian officials promises to be very interesting and it represents a precious opportunity to study and compare the policies of our countries on these challenges that politics must increasingly consider as priorities.”

Deputy President, Mr Simone Pillon, the head of the delegation expressed his gratitude to the Ambassador and the guests present for the warm welcome and stated that their visit to Hungary had been very useful and enriching, significantly contributing to their further professional work.

The official part of the evening was followed by a dinner reception with excellent, home-made Italian specialities, cordial conversations and informal exchange of views.

Quoting the words of Mrs Carmela Grippa on her professional visit in Hungary to Vasto Web in Italy:

“Working in the name of family and children must be our goal, an important and fundamental commitment for the future of our country.”

“In Budapest, they were days of intense work and numerous ideas to reflect on, in order to be able to adopt regulatory measures that go in the direction of support and help for families and which could also be very useful in combating the phenomenon of denatality in our country. It is well known that Families are considered to be the fulcrum of society and therefore also taking advantage of everything that emerged in this visit we must continue to work to not leave them alone and equip them with all the useful tools so that they truly feel the reference in our society, a sector essential to our economy.

It is always very constructive to have the opportunity to interface with colleagues from other institutions, especially when they have managed to develop virtuous policies on the issue. We all have the duty to support the family, which must be considered the real wealth of our nation.”