Analysis of NAPs Inclusion Portugal

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back to Analysis of NAPs Inclusion by EMN


This page is a result of the revision by Peter Ramsden and Magda Barceló of the report "European National Action Plans for Social Inclusion and microfinance: Participation strategies, importance and challenges" (Trans-formando, 2008)

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006 – 2008 National Action Plan on Social Inclusion 2005 – 2006


Situation and key trends

  • Underlining the structural weaknesses of the economy, average GDP growth rate in the period 2001-2006 was below 1% per year (0.4% in 2005).
  • The overall employment rate decreased from 68.4% in 2000 to 67.5% in 2005. However, the overall Lisbon target is still within reach and the intermediate targets for women and older workers were achieved in 2005 (61.7% and 50.5% respectively). Unemployment increased from 4% in 2000 to 7.6% in 2005, with a significant impact in youth and long-term unemployment. In 2005, the proportion of early school leavers remained extremely high at 38.6%, and the youth educational attainment level very low (48.4%). These two education indicators are very far below the EU averages. The at risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers (20% in 2004) and inequality of income distribution (ratio 8.2 in 2004) are among the highest in the EU. Children and the elderly are most at risk of poverty. Portugal is expected to face faster ageing than most EU Member States in the next decades.
  • The old-age dependency ratio is projected to increase from 25.2% in 2004 to 58.1% in 2050. Public pension expenditure was 11.1% of GDP in 2004, and is projected to increase by 9.7 p.p. until 2050. Life expectancy at birth (74.9 for males and 81.5 for females in 2004) is slightly below the EU average, showing a significant increase since 1995 (71.6 and 78.7) and a consistent increase over time (63.8 and 70.3 in 1971). Healthy life expectancy (59.8 and 61.8 in 2003) is below the 2003 EU average and has remained stable since 1995 for men, with a small reduction for women. Infant mortality (4 in 2004) is around the 2004 EU average of 4.5, a reduction from 77.5 in 1960 and 7.5 in 1995. Perinatal mortality (5.1 in 2003 and 4.4 in 2004) is about EU average, a substantial reduction from 41.1 in 1960.

Priority objectives of the NAP

There are five main objectives considered in Portuguese NAP:

  • Ensure that the economic development of the country, incorporates the needs to improve social cohesion.
  • Reduce significantly the number of people at risk of poverty.
  • Improve the adequacy of social protection system.
  • Improve the access to social services.
  • Improve governance effectiveness in the elaboration, implementation and policy assessment.

These five main priorities are included in the NAP 2006 – 2008 (pages 5 - 10). Each objective is followed by the necessary measures to develop it.

Financial Inclusion or Microfinance mention

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006 –2008

  • Even if the presentation is original and different from other NAPS, the contents are very similar.
  • The portuguese NAP approached microcredits in pages 29 and 38, as a transversal measure to “Promote technical and financial support to create self-employment for people with difficulties to integrate the labour market”.

National Action Plan on Social Inclusion 2005 – 2006

  • Like the 2006 – 2008 Report there is also a reference to microcredits in page 22, as mention is made about the “Micro-credit subsidy” in the point 1.1 “Promote participation in employment”, and also in the chart of page 61.

Major changes with previous reports

  • The New integrated Strategy for social policies presented identifies the national strategy under the Common Objectives at European level. The adoption of the 2006 - 2008 Report represents a fundamental step to strengthen and consolidate the Portuguese social model.
  • For the first time, a single political document assesses the challenges faced by social protection and social inclusion through the design of an integrated strategy for social policies whose main purpose is the country’s sustainable development.
  • Within the national strategy for social inclusion established in the National Action Plan for Inclusion 2006 - 2008, the Government adopted several measures enabling to face and prevent poverty and social exclusion situations which Portugal still faces.

Preparation of the report

  • The coordination and elaboration of the NAPincl for 2006-2008 was entrusted to the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity (MTSS), establishing under Resolution by Council of Ministry no 40/2006, an Inter-ministerial Follow-up Commission, represented by different Ministries, from the Regional Governments of the Azores and Madeira, and Non Governmental Forum for Social Inclusion but as observer. Given the coordination tasks of the MTSS and its mission within the protection and social solidarity a Working Group was also formed in this Ministry, which includes the departments with competences and contributions in the areas mentioned. These are very important mechanisms in the different phases of the process: elaboration, conception, implementation, monitoring and assessment.
  • The Non Governmental Forum for Social Inclusion (FNGIS), established as a response to an invitation from the National Co-ordination of the NAPincl for 2003-2005 to put into effect the 4th Common Objective (Nice) of the EU Social Inclusion process – “To Mobilize all relevant bodies”. This Forum gave important contributions to the elaboration of the NAPincl for 2006- 2008 and will continue committed in an independent and critical form in its implementation.


  • In Portugal there is a very weak presence of organizations working on migration issues in NAPs consultative bodies/procedures
  • There is also a lack of knowledge of the NGO’s about European policies and programmes to combat social exclusion
  • The NAP, in spite of the recognised coordination effort, is not able to have an effective and profitable relation with the sectoral policies and with other National Plans, whether made before it or, even worse, those that were subsequently drawn up and implemented. On the contrary, as it needs to compete with them, it inexorably loses prominence and visibility. In a few words, the NAP as aggregative strategy and social inclusion’s guide in Portugal is basically a Plan to be carried out by the Ministry for Labour and Social Solidarity, thus such an objective - social inclusion - does not have the conditions to be implemented. At this level it is even particularly of concern the lack of financial and human resources of the NAP’s National Coordination, as well as its limited cross-section intervention capability regarding implementation and monitoring.

What actions should be implemented for future NAPs…

  • To get more players involved along the whole NAPs drawing up process
  • Especially the Local Authorities’ representative structures and the decentralised State structures and that the local institutions, including NGOs, can actively participate in the NAPs monitoring and assessment.
  • To design the next NAP based on the different versions that will be negotiated between the different players.
  • To carry out an effective public survey on people in a state of poverty and social exclusion
  • To organise annually a joint seminar between the NAPs National Coordination and the FNGIS, aiming at openly discussing and disseminating the NAPs’ implementation activities.
  • To guarantee the human and material resources needed for the new NAPs operation/implementation, especially for the coordination team, as in other sectoral national plans.

Contacts of interest

  • Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity

Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity: Dr. José António Fonseca Vieira da Silva Head of the Office: Dr. Diogo Franco Secretaryship Phone:+351 21 842 41 00 Fax: +351 21 842 41 08 E-mail address: Internet site:

  • The Non Governmental Forum for Social Inclusion (FNGIS): Fórum Não Governamental para a Inclusão Social

Web: Executive secretary:

  • ANIMAR – Associação Portuguesa para o Desenvolvimento Local

David Machado Paulo Santos Célia Lavado Tel: + 351 21.9526012 Fax: +351 21.9521322


João Lázaro Tel: + 351 21.3587900 fax: +351 21.8876351


Maria Vânia Nunes Tel: +351 21.3913979 Fax: +351 21.3913996

  • FENACERCI – Federação Nacional das Cooperativas de Solidariedade Social

Luís Matos Pardal Mário Aboim Tel: +351 21.7112580 fax: +351 21.7112581

  • REAPN – Rede Europeia Anti-Pobreza

Jardim Moreira Sérgio Aires tel:+351 22.542080 fax: +351 22.5403250

  • ANDC:

José Centeio: CEO Telephone: (+351) 21 315 62 00 Fax: +351 21 315 62 02 Email: Website: