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Partnership agreement with Portugal adopted


On 30 July 2014, the Commission adopted the Partnership Agreement with Portugal, paving the way for €7.5 billion (current prices) in European Social Fund (ESF) funding in the next seven years.

The Partnership Agreement sets down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds in the country's regions, cities and people.

These investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, town and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy.

Priorities for the ESF in Portugal

ESF investments will help improve the countries' labour market situation by providing people with relevant skills, supporting active labour market policies as well as fostering social innovation. The ESF will also be directed at improving efficiency and effectiveness of public administration and will help Portugal to implement the Youth Guarantee. Interventions will be aligned with Europe 2020 objectives and priorities and the projected results include:

  • Rate of early school leaving: reduction to 10% (19.2% in 2013);
  • Tertiary or equivalent education completed by 30-34 years: 40% (29.2% in 2013);
  • Employment rate for the population aged 20-64: 75% (65.6% in 2013);
  • Reducing the number of people at risk of poverty or exclusion: -200 000 (-92 000 in 2013).


The share of ESF in the allocation of Structural Funds amounts to 41.2 % or € 7.5 billion - above the required minimum of 38.5 % - an amount that will help redress the social impact of the economic crisis and support a job-rich recovery. Approximately €1.6 billion or 21.6% of the ESF resources are allocated to social inclusion and combating poverty and any discrimination.

Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility € 1 692 026 507
Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination € 1 630 789 998
Investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning € 3 845 767 381
Enhancing institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders and efficient public administration € 249 696 283
Technical assistance € 128 252 100
Total € 7 546 532 269

In addition, Portugal benefits from an allocation of €160.8 million from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). This new instrument is dedicated to confront the high youth unemployment rates across Europe.

Next steps

The Commission and Portugal are currently negotiating the different Operational Programmes (OP). These will be breaking down the objectives of the Partnership Agreement into investment priorities and concrete actions and will allow selecting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the individual projects according to the priorities and targets agreed with the Commission.