Hungary FM: We Are One of Few with Higher Post-Pandemic Labor Force Participation Than Before

The minister for foreign affairs and trade met the director general of the International Labor Organization. At the press conference after the meeting, Peter Szjjjarto spoke about the economic crises of recent years, how the government has been successfully able to overcome them and the problems that can be anticipated in the future.

Forrás: MTI2024. 06. 21. 16:41
International Labor Organization Secretary-General Gilbert Fossoun Hongbo (left) and Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto (right) (Photo: MTI/Tamas Purger)
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"Employment in Hungary today stands at 75 percent with one million jobs having been created since 2010, but the government's goal is to raise this record rate to 85 percent in the coming years," Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said in Budapest on Thursday. Speaking at a press conference with Gilbert F. Houngbo, director-general of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the minister said that the meeting was particularly justified in times of threats and crises, as 

although the crises of the past years did not stem from the economy, they have had serious economic repercussions.

The coronavirus epidemic and the war in Ukraine have turned the global economy upside down, which has led to the beginning of a new era, and in the meantime, the protection of jobs has also been a major challenge, the minister said. He recalled that fourteen years ago the government announced its plans to create a work-based society, with a focus on those wanting to work being able to do so.

We have had to protect this initiative twice in the last five years, and the good news is that both times we managed to protect Hungarian jobs and the work-based society, and enable everyone who wants to work to have work,

he emphasized, noting,

"Hungary is one of the few countries in the world where more people are in work after the pandemic than before, which is a result of the strategy to boost investment and protect jobs."

Hungary has been a member of the International Labor Organization for 102 years, and has recently been re-elected to its governing body. More than 30 people are employed in the ILO's regional office in Budapest, he said.

The meeting also touched on two security crises that pose a major challenge for the international community in protecting and creating jobs. One is the refugee crisis in Europe caused by the war in Ukraine. In this context, Szijjarto pointed out that more than 1.3 million people have arrived in Hungary from Ukraine since the beginning of the fighting, and that the state is still providing support to companies that employ refugees who wish to stay.

It is much better for refugees as well, to be able to work and to have income from work, than to rely on benefits alone,

the minister believes.

The other issue addressed was the migration crisis. On this issue Peter Szijjarto reiterated Hungary's position: 

Help should be taken to where the trouble is, not trouble brought to where there is none.

The foreign minister noted that it is important to take seriously the forecasts indicating that Africa's population will grow significantly in the coming decades, and recalled that some calculations put the increase at 750 million in twenty years.

That is why it is important that the international community implements a comprehensive economic development strategy for Africa, so that African countries are able to provide jobs for their growing populations, because if they cannot create enough jobs and if we cannot create enough jobs in Africa, then there are two possible consequences: either the biggest migration crisis of all time will ensue, or one of the biggest humanitarian disasters of all time,

he warned, adding "we want to avoid both, and in order to manage this, we will continue to work as closely as possible with the ILO".

Cover photo: International Labor Organization Secretary-General Gilbert Fossoun Hongbo and Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto (Photo: MTI/Tamas Purger)

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