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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.11 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 28 November 2023

In 2019, measures aimed at qualifying and strengthening the employability of young NEETs continued to be coordinated with measures to promote employment, within the framework of the reorientation of the active policies of employment, the fight against labour market segmentation and in the context of modernization of the public employment service. In this context, it must be highlighted:

  • The continuation of measures to promote self-employment and entrepreneurship by young NEETs, through programs such as Empreende Já – Rede de Perceção e Gestão de Negócios, aimed at stimulating an entrepreneurial culture, focusing on creativity and innovation, and supporting the creation and development of enterprises and social economy entities, as well as the creation of jobs for and for young people;

  • The continuation and strengthening of the articulation between the various guidance and monitoring schools, the public employment services and the Qualification Centres, so that all young people and adults get to know the available offers. At the same time, it is intended to enhance the characteristics of the different target groups through a broader national network (in terms of centres and access points), more coherent and more unified, from the perspective of potential users;

  • The improvement of the monitoring and evaluation system, with a view to more flexible access to information, allowing to measure the results achieved and thus create conditions to adjust the design and the way of application of the interventions, as well as the production of information to support the implementation of policies in this area.


On the other hand, the segmentation and precariousness of the labour market remain very relevant issue, despite the recent trend of strengthening of permanent employment, which is still below the European average. It is important, therefore, to maintain the quality employment agenda and combat various forms of precariousness, taking full responsibility for the renewal of social dialogue at its various levels, from social consultation to collective bargaining.

In that way, over the course of an extensive in-depth discussion with the Social Partners, built on the Green Paper on Labour Relations (2016), the Government presented a comprehensive set of policy measures aimed at reducing segmentation and promoting collective bargaining. Following the presentation of the Government’s proposals and considering the Social Partners’ inputs, a Tripartite Agreement was reached on May 30th, which was signed in June 18th.

Meanwhile, the Parliament approved the Law no. 93/2019, of September 4th based on the “Action programme to combat precariousness and to promote collective bargaining” (“Programa Nacional de Combate à Precariedade e Promoção da Negociação Coletiva”) building on the measures agreed with the Social Partners (Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 72/2018, of June 6th).

The Tripartite Agreement is based on three strategic lines of action: (I) reducing labour market segmentation and combating precariousness; (II) promoting a greater dynamism of collective bargaining and; (III) strengthening the means and instruments of labour market regulation.


The Government Programme of the XXI Constitutional Government, concerning youth policy, also supported a holistic and inter-ministerial strategy for youth. In this sense, it approved the development of the first National Youth Plan, (Council of Ministers Resolution no. 114-A/2018) with the inclusion of cross-cutting policies in different fields. The key-domains of the National Youth Plan are the formal and non-formal education, employment, health and housing. The Plan should be driven taking into account the promotion of governance and participation, equality and social inclusion, environment and sustainable development. Among the 171 measures included in the Plan, 111 already took place, fostering young people participation in the definition of youth directed policies, noteworthy the achievement of more than € 1 million yearly on Participatory Budgets.


For 2020, the Major Options of the Plan identified the key priority challenges regarding the labour market:

  • Promote a proper regulation, with a view to safeguarding the right to decent and quality employment for all people;

  • Ensure that our education and training system responds effectively to changes in the standard of qualifications required by the labour market in order not to generate new forms of social exclusion;

  • Ensure a fair transition, inclusive and sustainable, so that the future of work provides well-being and cohesion reinforced social security, especially for young people and millennials;

  • Regulate the Gig Economy, inspecting and promoting the application of fair work, to ensure that workers' rights are safeguarded and that the conditions inherent to decent work are respected;

  • Promote the preparation of a Green Paper on the Future of Work and, based on work and public debate based on it, including social consultation, move forward with concrete proposals for regulating the provision of work in the digital economy;

  • Advance with solutions to regulate new forms of work associated with the expansion of digital platforms and the collaborative economy, and own instrument the working conditions that must be demanded in that scope;

  • Ensure equal conditions in access to social protection and conditions of safe and healthy workplaces for digital platform workers, the economy collaboration, distance workers and other types of the digital economy, ensuring the implementation of the decent work goals stated at the level of the United Nations;

  • Guarantee the access of workers in the digital economy to the structures of collective representation of work and encourage collective bargaining and regulation in emerging sectors, also in order to avoid the isolation and individualization of labour relations in these fields;

  • Defend the harmonization of the regulatory framework that regulates industrial relations in digital platforms in different jurisdictions, inside and outside Europe

  • Introduce regulatory mechanisms to ensure safety and security workers' privacy when interacting with machines and artificial intelligence;

  • Ensure protection and security in the use of personal data by entities employers, ensuring full application of the General Regulation on Personal Data and stimulating its implementation in collective bargaining;

  • Stimulate an appropriate balance between autonomy at work and the right to termination, promoting a balanced management of working time and conciliation between professional, family and personal life in the context of respect for people's sovereignty in time management.