1.5 Cross-sectoral approach with other ministries
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The XXII Constitutional Government has assumed, in its Program and in the National Reform Plan, a transversal perspective of the state’s youth policies upon the presentation of sectorial measures that hold the country’s young population as recipient.
The Government has established the pledge of investing in youths, an investment in the interministerial articulation with the remits and programs that have an impact on the lives of young people, namely education, employment and entrepreneurship, higher education, housing, birth rate, health, quality of life, sports, culture, environment, agriculture, transports, social security’s sustainability, fight against poverty, equality, inclusion and migrations.
Thus, 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 is intended to guarantee the articulation between PNJ and the current national plans and programs integrated in sectorial or cut-crossing policies that have impact on young people, as well as ensure that the youth’s dimension is included in those other policy instruments. For this reason PNJ assumes itself as an intersectoral instrument of coordination of youth policies’ in Portugal.
The Advisory Council on Youth – an advisory body of the Government member responsible for youth affairs and concertation of youth policies (Decree-Law no. 129/2015 of 9th July ) - also contributes to promote the cross-sectorial approach within several ministries, since it includes representatives of different stake-holders in the field of youth policies.
The Portuguese Institute for Sports and Youth (IPDJ) also works with another consultating body, the IPDJ Advisory Council (Decree-Law no 98/2001), which includes representatives from different sports and youth sector entities.
The IPDJ also coordinates the 70 NOW! Committee, which brings together bodies of the public administration, the government and youth organisations, in order to carry out a participatory management of the 70 NOW! campaign on the promotion of young people's rights, involving a comprehensive coordination in the promotion of public policies programmes and initiatives stemming from public policies, targeting young people.
Furthermore, several programmes and actions are cross-sectorally developed and implemented in different ways, often with the use of variable geometry workgroups, depending on the specific purpose.
Some of the more relevant examples of cross-sectorally developed programmes and actions are the following:
- Cuida-te (Take Care of Yourself programme): a multifaceted programme, created through the Administrative Decree No. 258/2019 of 19 August, which aims to promote youth health and healthy lifestyles with inter-ministerial coordination in their monitoring. It aims to address the health determinants of the final target population, namely the access to health care, health literacy and healthy lifestyles, mental health, nutrition, physical and sports activity, addictive behaviours and sexuality. It aims to promote the protective factors and reduce the risk factors for lifestyle-related diseases among the final target population, adopting a comprehensive perspective on youth health, targeting various areas of the life of the final target population, involving multiple partners, including families, peers, schools and communities;
- Youth Guarantee (Garantia Jovem): programme aimed at young people under 30 years of age with the purpose of giving them an opportunity for education and training, internship or employment, involving several entities with competences in the areas of education, training, employment, social security and youth;
- Youth Parliament: developed in order to stimulate political and civic participation, in partnership with the National Parliament, the Ministry of Education, theIPDJ, the Directorate-General for Consular Affairs and Portuguese Communities and the Regional Directorates responsible for education and youth in the Azores and Madeira Autonomous Regions;
Bearing in mind the above exposed, it is accurate to say that there are mechanisms to ensure the cross-sectorial approach with other ministries (and other entities) in all levels of the decision-making process.