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The present national youth strategy is reflected in the National Youth Plan (PNJ), approved in September 2018 (resolution of the Council of Ministers 114-A/2018) . It is the political instrument of youth policy’s intersectoral coordination in Portugal with the mission of rendering its transversality concrete and in order to strengthen the special protection of young people’s rights, as stated in article 70 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
PNJ assumes a balance between comprehensive youth policies and policies targeted to groups in vulnerable situation or with specific needs. Priorities were settled in certain groups, profiles or social issues, but flexible to all border situations.
Being the first National Youth Plan and not the result of an assessment of a previous plan, PNJ has sought to promote the balance between what was withdrawn from the listening processes and what was mapped or known of young population’s particular challenges and potentials. Some of the strategic and operational goals are highly regulatory, others are emancipator; some are more focused on prevention, others on intervention; some follow a proactive approach, others a more reactive one and, lastly, some are more based on problems and others on opportunities.
PNJ adopts the following structure:
Key domains: Formal and Non-Formal Education, Employment, Health and Housing.
The emphasis given to the key domains of Formal and Non-Formal Education, Employment, Health and Housing should not be regarded as a setback to the original domains of transition to adult life, but as a comeback to the spheres where social inequalities operate the most and wherein reify.
Key themes: Governance and Participation, Equality and Social Inclusion, Environment and Sustainable Development.
Key domains are correspondent to some areas of governance. They distinguish themselves from key themes as they are more comprehensive and represent further transversal areas of intervention.
Other relevant areas — correspond to sectorial action plans designed by the government’s internal administration areas; agriculture, forestry and rural development; culture; defence; sports, sea and justice.
Despite the separation between domains and themes an effort of conjugation was incorporated and of non-duplication of efforts among the goals pursued in each area. This can be achieved through the dissemination or joint assessment of programs, as well as by the share of political and budgetary responsibilities by a particular program or goal.
Action Plans - priority and strategic goals were devised for each domain or theme, and those correspond to an action plan grounded on the contribution from the different areas of government, which are transcribed bellow.
Formal and Non-Formal Education
Priority: To ensure the realisation of the right to education and to education from a holistic and inclusive perspective by bringing the non-formal and formal learning into the formal education system, with focus on the development and acknowledgement of skills, in order to integrate young people in active life and in the exercise of citizenship and civic participation, their specific conditions being taken into account.
Priority: To promote the realisation of the right to a decent and inclusive job through the wide spread of a faster and better access to first job and the fight against precariousness, in order to achieve the emancipatory process’s sustainability and the creation of autonomy in young people.
Priority: To promote the realisation of the right to housing, through the guarantee of young people’s access to adequate housing, in the broad sense of habitat and oriented to people, thus contributing to the emancipatory process’s sustainability and creation of autonomy in young people and to a wider range of freedom in student, professional and family mobility.
Priority: To ensure the realisation of the right to health, taking into account the particular bio-psycho-social dimensions of this stage of life in the promotion of health policies and programs and of a healthy lifestyle for the well-being of young people and the acquisition of skills that enhance adult quality life.
Environment and sustainable development
Priority: To guarantee the engagement and participation of young people in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and of the 2030 Agenda through the insurance that they also find inclusive actions, measures and goals developed for and with young people that monitor and assess their impact on youths.
Governance and participation
Priority: To promote multilevel, inclusive, participated and participatory government practices, in view of youth policies’ institutional strengthening.
Equality and social inclusion
Priority: To promote the realisation of the right to equality and social inclusion of all young people through the combat of social exclusion and all forms of inequality and discrimination.
The National Youth Plan 2018-2021 is coordinated by the Portuguese Institute for Youth and Sport (IPDJ, IP), which monitors the implementation of measures and reports to the Government member responsible for the Youth area via an annual report (midterm reports) and a report at the end of the Plan’s validity.
The implementation of each measure is for the responsible state entity to execute.
The current National Youth Plan will be subjected to assessment via an annual midterm report.