The family, often regarded as the cornerstone of society, has been under ideological scrutiny in recent years. Amidst debates on progressive social policies, a conservative stance on family values remains crucial in maintaining stability and prosperity in Europe and the wider western world. The European Congress of Families, hosted earlier in September by the European Conservatives and Reformists in Croatia’s historic city of Dubrovnik , gathered approximately 200 participants from Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This event saw government officials, lawmakers, experts, business leaders, civil society representatives, and opinion makers engage in vital discussions surrounding family policies and their impact on various aspects of society.
Member of the European Parliament from Croatia, Ladislav Ilčić, served as the host and set the tone for the congress. He emphasised that family should be seen as a fundamental building block of society and advocated for its strengthening through intelligent public policies. Ilčić made it clear that while individuals have the right to choose their way of life, not every choice contributes equally to the well-being of society as a whole. This underlined the importance of preserving and promoting family values in today’s world.
One of the key voices at the congress was Eugenia Maria Roccella, the Italian Minister for Family, Nativity, and Equal Opportunities. Roccella highlighted the ongoing ideological assault on the family, which has created an unfavorable cultural environment for families. She pointed out that below-replacement fertility rates in the EU should come as no surprise, considering the widespread dissemination of ideas portraying the family as a source of restrictions on individual freedoms, unhappiness, and even violence.
Nicola Procaccini MEP, the co-chairman of the ECR Group in the European Parliament, delivered a powerful keynote speech on the second day of the event. His speech resonated with the audience, emphasising the importance of conservative family values in shaping stable and prosperous societies. Other Members of the European Parliament, including Rob Roos, Elżbieta Rafalska, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Hermann Tertsch, and Margarita de la Pisa, contributed to panel discussions, enriching the dialogue with diverse perspectives. EU legislators were joined by UK Conservative Party MPs, Ranil Jayawardena, the former Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, and Miriam Cates. This international gathering of policymakers underscored the global relevance of family-focused discussions.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Ilčić MEP announced future European Congress of Families events, affirming the conservative commitment to supporting and promoting family values. He emphasized that a healthy society can only thrive when it is built upon the foundation of healthy families.
The importance of family in Europe cannot be overstated. It serves as the bedrock upon which prosperous societies are built. While debates on social policies continue to rage, the wisdom of conservative family values, as discussed at the ECR’s European Congress of Families, stands as a beacon of stability and prosperity. Europe must continue to prioritise family-oriented policies to ensure a brighter future for all its citizens.