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Institutional framework: multilateral and bilateral cooperation with European countries
Portugal's international intervention in the Youth domain has focused, both bilaterally and multilaterally, on Europe (European Union and Council of Europe), on Africa, namely with the member countries of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and on Iberian-America, especially the International Youth Organisation for Iberian-America (IYO).
With regard to multilateral cooperation, namely as a member of international organisations, national representations are ensured by government bodies within the framework of binding international conventions, such as the International Youth Organisation for Iberian-America, which accession and statutes have been ratified by the Assembly of the Republic. In such cases, participation may be understood to be of a statutory nature. There are other situations in which international organisations are by definition non-governmental and non-profit and bring together governmental and non-governmental organisations, such as ERYICA - European Information and Counselling Agency, which participation is characterised as programmatic.
Portugal participates in events and meetings related to youth policies, namely in the framework of the Council of the European Union, namely in the Youth Dialogue process and in expert groups.
ERYICA – European Youth Information and Counselling Agency
Created in 1986, the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA) is a European organisation, composed of national youth information networks.
The Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth has adopted the ERYICA European Youth Information Charter as a reference document for the information services provided to young people.
On the 27th of April 2018, ERYICA’s General Assembly, held in Cascais, during the Cascais European Youth Capital, approved the Edition of a new draft of the European Youth Information Charter, whose greatest novelty is the integration of information and counselling for young people into the digital world, and the active participation of young people in the collaboration with structures and information networks for young people.
Portugal is represented in the youth sector’s statutory bodies, namely at the European Steering Committee on Youth (CDEJ) and the Programming Committee on Youth, by thePortuguese Institute for Sports and Youth (IPDJ, I.P.).
In 2015, the Council of Europe (CoE) awarded the Quality Label to IPDJ's Lisbon Youth Centre, a space for young people and youth associations where they can develop their ideas, in the spirit of CoE values.
OIJ – Youth International Organization for Ibero-America
OIJ is an intergovernmental organization that brings together Youth Ministers from the Iberian-American Community (Latin America and countries of the Iberian Peninsula). Its aim is "to contribute to the processes of meeting the needs of young people in Iberian-America and to expand their potential as agents of change and transformation of the region towards inclusive, supportive and peaceful societies".
Portugal is a member of this international intergovernmental organisation that aims to promote the development of youth policies in the Ibero-American region.
CPLP-CMJD –Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sport of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries
The Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sports from the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CMJD-CPLP) is based on the Cooperation Agreement in the Field of Youth and Sports signed between the member states of the CPLP.
The background of the conference goes back to the first multilateral meeting of government officials in the area of sports, in 1990, and to the implementation of the first CPLP Summit of Youth Ministers, held in 1996. The CPLP is a political project aimed at the consolidation of the special ties of friendship between the peoples of the countries where Portuguese is the official language. In 2007 (Mindelo, Cape Verde) a cooperation agreement was signed by the members of the Government who in their respective countries oversee the areas of sport and youth, creating the Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth and Sports of the CPLP.
Together with the CPLP Youth Forum, that gathers the National Youth Councils of the CPLP member states, important documents have been produced, shaping the way the political co-operation in the youth field is established, namely:
- The CPLP Youth Charter;
- The Strategic Plan for Youth for 2015 and Beyond;
- The Youth Action Plan 2018/2022.
Every two years, the conference organises, in a different hosting country, the ‘Bienal de Jovens Criadores’, an event that brings together young artists and youth leaders from the Member States.
UN – United Nations
Since the approval of the Youth International Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, following the proposal made by the World Youth Forum to the 1st World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, organised by Portugal in co-operation with the United Nations (Lisbon, Portugal, 1998), together with Moldova and Senegal, Portugal promotes the issuing and approval by the UN-GA of the Resolution on Youth every two years, with the participation of young people´s representatives.
Portugal is fully committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, as approved by the UN-GA in 2015, having developed a national strategy with the participation of young people and their organisations.
Twenty-one years after the first World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, the Portuguese capital was once again the stage for this global event, which took place in Lisbon, together with the Youth Forum.
The World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth and the "Lisbon+21" Youth Forum was endorsed by the Office of the Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Youth, the ILO (International Labour Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Support Fund) and UN DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs).
Finally, on 23 June 2019, the Lisbon+21 Declaration was adopted by acclamation, updating the 1998 Lisbon Declaration and renewing commitments to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all young people, a marked step forward in the integration of Youth into policies and programmes and a path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Portugal, through IPDJ, has bilateral agreements in the area of youth with several countries, namely Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Morocco, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and East Timor. These protocols support and promote the development of joint activities and direct contact between young people and promote cooperation between youth organisations and political actors. There is also intensive cooperation between the cross-border regions of Portugal and Spain.