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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Policy legal framework
  2. Funding
  3. Cooperation



Policy legal framework

There is no specific legal framework for youth work, the activities promoted and supported by youth workers can be deducted from the article 70º of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic that states:


Article 70 (Youth)

1.    To ensure the effective fulfilment of their economic, social and cultural rights, young people shall enjoy special protection, particularly:

a) In education, vocational training and culture;

b) In access to their first job, at work and concerning social security;

c) In access to housing;

d) In physical education and sport;

e) In the use of their free time.

2.    The priority objectives of the youth policy must be the development of young people's personality, the creation of the conditions needed for their effective integration into the active life, a love of free creativity and a sense of community service.

3.    In cooperation with families, schools, enterprises, residents' organisations, cultural associations and foundations and cultural and recreational groups, the state shall foster and support youth organisations in the pursuit of the said objectives, as well as international youth exchanges.


  ARTICLE 70  



Youth Movement

Decree-Law n.º 98/2011


Law nº 23/2006 of 23rd July

Law nº57/2019 of 7th of August


Portaria n.º 382/2017 -


Agora Nós Youth Volunteer Program

Ordinance nº 242/2013


Youth Volunteer Program for Nature and Forests

Council of Ministers Resolution 166/2017


International Work Camps

Ordinance n.º 345/2006


Occupation of Free Time

Ordinance 205/2013


Holidays in Movement

Ordinance n.º 183/2017



Ordinance n.º 258/2019


Decree-Law n.º 75/2013, Establishes the legal regime for local authorities

Law nº 8/2009 Municipal Youth Councils

Youth Assocativism Support Program (PAAJ) - Ordinance n.º 1230/2006


Incentive to the Development of Associations - IDA

Ordinance 249/2014




There is a wide range of support for youth work. Youth Organizations have a specific law that regulates their existence and activity, Law nº 23/2006 de 23 June, revised in 2019 and currently under a renewed regulation process.

Among the rights and possibilities, there are programs for the support of youth and scouts organizations activities (programme PAJ), their facilities and equipment (Programme PAI), students organizations activities (programme PAE) and a training program that funds peer training between organizations and the training of all the actors in the youth field, including técnicos de juventude (programme Formar+).

Youth organizations also benefit from the programme IDA  (Incentivo ao Desenvolvimento Associativo) aimed at fostering employment and professional stages of young people in youth organizations, through a partnership with IEFP – Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (National Institute for Employment and Professional Training).

There are also other funding programs eligible for youth and youngsters coming from a wide range of public domains. Environment, employment and entrepreneurship, Health, Voluntary Service or New Technologies are some of the areas involved. Each of these programs is funded on a legal framework with regulation and accountability attached.

The direct support to Youth in IPDJ has a general budget of around 10 million euros per year.

Many of these organizations also apply to European programs with specific projects, like the Erasmus+ program. In most programs, there are rules and limits to public funding that aim at fostering the ability for the applicants to mobilize self-resources or seek partnerships and funding in non-public organizations and sources.

In the current ongoing reform of legislation regarding youth associations, for instance, many rights were conceived regarding indirect funding, like more favourable taxation rules over paid activities delivered by youth organizations (although their non-profitable status).  

Municipalities also have regular programs and support to youth and youth organizations. This data is available in a recent and innovative study (see the topic on research 10.4 - 2 Reasearch and evidence based Youth Work).



As we have seen before and also in the following topics, there is a wide interconnection between public and civil society institutions as well as intergovernmental cooperation and European cooperation.

European institutions and other international institutions are regularly present and target for exchange of ideas and initiatives in the youth area. Portugal has a particular position regarding cooperation within CPLP (Community of Countries of Portuguese Language), but is also very active in the EU and with CoE among others.

At the internal level, the local and central dimensions of political power are closer than ever, as indicated in the building of the national strategy for youth and the recent studies.

The connection between youth representatives and their institutions and the institutions that conduct public youth policies is very intense and always present in every project, initiative and celebration.  

For almost two decades now there is a regular celebration, on the 30th of April, of the national day of youth associations, and in the last years, there has been an annual Youth Academy, a project having the common organization of IPDJ, Erasmus+ NA, CNJ and FNAJ.

Cascais 2018 European Youth Capital was another example of strict cooperation between local and national institutions, and cooperation with youth organizations.

IPDJ also has worked closely with the youth platforms in collecting data for studies and in partnerships in specific projects (EE Grants for instance), as well in pursuing the regular structured dialogue and now the building of policies following new European youth agenda.