1. Youth Policy Governance
In Portugal, the highest authority responsible for Youth Policy is the Secretariat of State for Youth and Sports (SEJD), which is currently under the purview of the Ministry of Education. The executive and operational body of Youth Policies is the Portuguese Institute for Sports and Youth (IPDJ, IP). (see section 1.4)
The cross-cutting approach to youth policies implies the involvement of a large number of actors, both public and private, from different fields related to the lives of young people. There is an identified need for cooperation between ministries for the design, implementation and evaluation of policy measures for young people, which also count on the participation of young people themselves, through their representative structures and youth organisations. The policy development in a participatory manner is also reflected in the existence of advisory bodies such as the Youth Advisory Council, the Advisory Council of the IPDJ, and, locally, the Youth City Councils, among others (see also sections 5.3 and 5.4). The very existence of the National Youth Council (CNJ), whose legal status indicates that the State has the duty of consulting it "as an interlocutor on all matters affecting young people", emphasises the commitment for the joint and shared development of youth policies which has been further strengthened. Another cornerstone that is at the root of youth policies is the study and data research so that decision-making is substantiated in knowledge.
The National Youth Plan (PNJ) is the political instrument with the mission of rendering concrete the transversality of youth policies in order to strengthen the special protection of young people’s rights, as stated in article 70. of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic. It was also intended to guarantee the articulation between PNJ and the current national plans and programs integrated in sectorial or transversal policies that may have impact on young people, as well as ensure that the youth’s dimension is included in those other political instruments.
For this reason PNJ assumes itself as an intersectoral instrument of coordination of youth policies’ in Portugal, and takes into account as well the international benchmarks from the United Nations (UN), the Council Of Europe, the European Union (EU), the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and the International Youth Organisation for Ibero-America, namely: UN Agenda 2030, EU Youth Strategy, Ibero-American Youth Pact and CPLP’s Youth Charter.