It is very rare for a social issue to show almost complete social consensus. The experience of recent years shows that family is particularly important to most Europeans, and this is especially true for Hungary. Since the results clearly pointed in the same direction to the question posed in the previous research, the most recent survey of Századvég examined the importance of family values by country and group of countries with the aim of some distinction. A total of 73 percent of EU respondents indicated a positive attitude towards the concept of family, while 7 percent indicated an unfavourable response. Even Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, and France, which had the lowest favourable response rates, had 66 to 68 percent choosing a quasi-positive response. In contrast to them, it is mainly the countries of the Balkan region that have the most favourable attitude towards family values, and Czechia is the first of the non-Balkan countries, with 82 percent. Looking at the geographical clusters of countries, it seems that the proportion of people living in the countries that founded the EU has the lowest positive attitude, but it is still not much below the average of the overall sample, since even here the proportion of those who responded positively is 70 percent. The former socialist and V4 countries gave a favourable response above the sample average.
The importance of family values remains indisputable in Europe
Since 2016, Europe Project Research has shown that the institution of the family is important for the people of Europe, regardless of ideologies. Last year, Századvég pointed out that Europeans would solve the demographic crisis across the Continent not by immigration, but by supporting families and encouraging them to have children. This time, the series of research studies examined the importance of family values and the perception of the activities of the LGBTQ movement, as well as the dilemma of traditional family perceptions.
Family values are particularly important for Europeans
Europeans are ambivalent about LGBTQ movements but condemn the spread of LGBTQ ideas in schools
In modern societies, childhood and youth have become a priority area in terms of educational attitudes and principles. The issues of education and moral education have traditionally been embodied in social disputes over the competence of the state and its institutional systems and, on the other hand, the competence of the family. In the 20th century, changes that could be described by the pluralization of family forms became visible on a global scale. It is in this sociological context that many of today’s social and current political conflicts, which are related to the issue of child-rearing, can be interpreted. Based on this, Századvég also touched on the social perception of the LGBTQ movement in the framework of its Project Europe Research, examining what respondents would recommend to their government if they had to choose anyway; whether it should focus more on protecting families, supporting families, and helping them to have children, or rather protecting and supporting the LGBTQ community and sexual minorities.
On average, 62 percent of the population of the 38 countries would prefer family support, while 23 percent feel that if they had to choose, it would be more important to embrace the LGBTQ movement. Broken down by country, there is basically only one country (the Netherlands) where the need for family support is not predominant. In all other countries, the preference for family support is, more or less, stronger. The proportion does not surpass 50 percent only in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Belgium, i.e., 38 to 49 percent would opt for family support. However, an even smaller proportion would choose to support the LGBTQ movement. And while the Balkan countries continue to account for the highest proportion of the primacy of family support over support for the LGBTQ movement, Hungary, Czechia, Portugal, and Greece are also wedged between them. Thus, in all the regions examined, those who believe that governments should support families instead of the LGBTQ community predominate. The most pivotal position here has been taken by the Western Balkans, where there are only 10 percent of LGBTQ sympathizers against 82 percent of pro-family supporters.
The Project Europe Research
In the first half of 2016, the Századvég Foundation conducted a public opinion poll survey covering all 28 European Union Member States, with the aim to analyse the opinions of EU citizens regarding the issues that most affect the future of the EU. In a unique way, Project 28 conducted the widest possible survey of 1,000, that is a total of 28,000 randomly selected adults in each country. Gaining an understanding of society’s sense of prosperity and mapping the population’s attitudes towards the performance of the European Union, the migration crisis and the increasing terrorism were among the most important goals of the analysis. Following the surveys in 2017, 2018 and 2019, on behalf of the government, the Századvég Foundation has been conducting the research under the name of Project Europe since 2020, which continued to reflect on the topics that most dominated the European political and social discourse.
In 2022, the aim of the survey is again to map the population’s attitude towards the most important public issues affecting our continent. In addition to society’s sense of prosperity, the performance of the European Union, the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, and the perception of the migration crisis, in line with the latest challenges affecting Europe, the dominant theme of this year’s poll has been the Russian-Ukrainian war, the energy crisis, energy supply, and family policy. In addition to the European Union Member States, the 2022 research covered the United Kingdom, Norway, Switzerland, Moldova, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and surveyed a total of 38,000 randomly selected adults using the CATI method between 13 October and 7 December.