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Slovakia: Chromik (AFF), “the Country doesn’t have a clear idea about the future of the family in the Country”

The Alliance for the Family is demanding specific commitments at political and legislative level. This theme “is part and parcel of the values shared by the public at large.” However, “there is a great difference between ideals and the truth.” Declining birth rates, while marriages increase and the number of divorces is diminishing.

Anton Chromik (Aff Slovacchia)

“Protection and support of the family cannot be an item of interest only for certain political parties or movements, they should be considered important by all Members of Parliament who have at heart the future of the Slovakian nation”, claims in a statement the Slovakian chapter of the Alliance for the Family (AFF), a large platform that includes citizens, organizations and institutions engaged in the defence of the rights of the family based on the marriage between a man and a woman. Anton Chromik, lawyer and AFF spokesperson, shared his reflections on the problems of the family in the Country and on the introduction of the so-called “family clause” within the national legal system.

How would you describe the current policy on the family in Slovakia? Which measures have been adopted in support of this fundamental cell of society in legal and political terms?
As regards family policies in Slovakia, it’s typical of our Country to ignore which goal should be achieved. Measures in favour of the family are similar to those adopted in other Countries, but nobody addresses the complexities. There is strong pressure for political correctness. In fact,

we don’t know which kind of family we want for the future. As a result, we don’t have a clear idea of what we should be supporting, nor of what we want to support.

We have a good Constitution that defines marriage as the bond between a man and a woman. But a large number of media outlets ridicule it and not many politicians are willing to oppose such derision. The lack of courage in facing the problem and developing a strategy aimed at its solution is the reason for uncertain – if not non-existent – support to the institution of the family. The changes in the Constitution have not yet delivered concrete proposals, and this is one of the causes of the demographic crisis in Slovakia.

 

This was a description of the political approach towards the family. What is the atmosphere when referred to the sentiments of ordinary citizens?
The family occupies an important position in the list of individual values, but there is a great difference between reality and ideals. People want to have good interpersonal relations, but they don’t know how to obtain them. In other words, they cannot resist the pressure of consumerism and the philosophy whereby personal ego and pleasure are placed at the centre of the universe. We have managed to attract attention on the family and on the needs of children on the occasion of the referendum on the protection of the family (February 2015) that saw the participation of approximately one million voters. Since the beginning of the debate on this issue, in 2013, the tendency of modern society has not changed, marked by an increase in marriages and a drop in the number of divorced people. This encourages us in our hope that speaking about the family is consequential.

What are the objectives of AFF in terms of support to the family in society, especially as regards its juridical and social protection?
Bearing in mind the negative demographic trend,

there is the need to adopt reasonable measures not only to motivate parents and have many children, but also to ensure that the latter may be raised in a stable family environment.

We intend to support family solidarity, the integration of families within civil society, and we want schools and educational institutions to pay greater attention to the needs of parents in terms of their children’s education. The so-called “family clause” represents one of the measures designed to change the general climate in the adoption of new legislation. Our goal is to reach a condition whereby every single law or amendment is considered from the perspective of their possible impact on the family.

 

What are the chances that the clause on the family will be approved and implemented by the national Council of Slovakia?
Present possibilities depend on the agreement with SMER, Social Democracy: the Political party at the government in our Country. This topic could be addressed during the creation of pre-electoral coalitions (elections are scheduled for the coming March), or during the debates on Constitutional amendments proposed by SMER that will be the object of overarching parliamentary debate. Personally,

I consider the proposal of introducing the clause on the family in our legal system as a positive step

But it will need to be followed by further legislative provisions, such as the development of specific methodology to assess the impact on the family, as has been done in the area of environmental protection. In this process it will be inevitable to define what a family is and what kind of family we intend to have and support.

 

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