The four Central European countries that make up the Visegrad Group – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic – today launched a “pro-family coalition” at an event in Warsaw.
They aim to promote family policies at the local, national, and EU level.
Hosted by Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and attended by the ministers responsible for family policy in each of the four countries, the event comes ahead of the International Day of Families, which was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 and is observed on 15 May.
“For us, family is the foundation,” said Morawiecki, who heads Poland’s national-conservative government. “Society without families would be like civilisation without culture or mathematics without numbers.”
“The family is also a promotion of values,” continued the prime minister. “In families, the fundamental mechanism of empathy and desire for love are born…Family is, alongside the state, the greatest creation of humanity.”
Therefore “promoting the lives of families, support for families with many children, is an extremely important activity for every state”, he added. But “we [also] want to promote the family within the framework of the European Union; this is for us one of the fundamental aims of social policy in the EU”.
This is why, said the prime minister, he had raised the issue at a European Council summit last week that saw the EU member states release a joint declaration on advancing social cohesion.
“Like many other Visegrad initiatives, this ‘pro-family coalition’ is mainly meant to foster coordination and discussion, without anything really tangible,” notes Pavlina Janebova, a Central Europe expert at AMO, a Prague-based think-tank.
As well as “pro-family policy”, the other two main themes of the event were “the fight against unfavourable demographic trends” and “policies for seniors”.
The Central and Eastern European region has some of the world’s most pessimistic demographic forecasts, with low birth rates and mass emigration resulting in declining populations.