Leonhard Foeger | Reuters
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses supporters after announcing the partial results of the parliamentary elections in Budapest, Hungary, on April 8, 2018.
Orban is a well-known critic of 39. Immigration and the Hungarian government has caused controversy in the European Union, of which Hungary is a member, when (together with its neighbors of Eastern Europe) refused to allow asylum seekers to enter in the country during the migratory crisis in the continent in 2015.
The Hungarian government led by the Fidesz party of Orban was also accused of turning back on democratic values, the rule of law, minority rights and media freedoms. As a result, it could now take punitive action from the EU, along with Poland, after the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) voted last year to initiate disciplinary proceedings against it because it was seen as a violation of the fundamental values of the blockade.
Like other conservative and nationalist governments in Europe, Hungary is worried about migration and its declining birth rate. The data from Eurostat in mid-2018, the latest available, show that the birth rate continues to decline in the EU as a whole. In 2017, 5 million children were born in the EU, 90,000 fewer than in the previous year. 5.3 million deaths were recorded in the same year
While birth rates remain robust in Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and France, the lowest birth rates were recorded in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain. The birth rates in Hungary are lower than the EU average – In Hungary, the birth rate in 2017 was 9.7 per 1,000 inhabitants, just below the EU average of 9.9 per 1,000 inhabitants.
In 2017, 94,600 live births were recorded in Hungary and 131,900 deaths were recorded, representing a population decline of just over 37,000 people, Eurostat data show