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Good Governance

The Peer Review on good governance was held in Lisbon and hosted by the Portuguese Institute for the Management of the ESF (IGFSE). In addition to the host country, ten peer countries participated in the review: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Turkey.

The issue of good governance of the ESF in Portugal in the context of the current Community Support Framework was addressed in three parts.

Firstly, the different instruments of good governance adopted to organise the management of the ESF were presented:
  • Good governance support,
  • the national control system (NCS), and
  • the ESF integrated information system (ESFIIS).
The contribution of the ESF to achieving the targets and objectives of the NAP/NRP was outlined as a second point, especially the Employment, Training and Social Development Operational Programme (POEFDS) as good as the Operational Programme for the Development of Education in Portugal (PRODEP). The third part was dedicated to the strengthening of good governance capacity through the ESF as an instrument to develop a new public service model, based on bringing the State closer to the citizens and enterprises and on simplifying, facilitating and qualifying the day to day interaction among the different actors.

Good governance priorities 

During the 20 years since Portugal‚s EU accession, 50 b. Euro have been invested into Good Governance measures, resulting in remarkable achievements on the one hand, while on the other hand, persistent structural problems remain to be solved. Portugal‚s economy is characterised by a large share of micro and small enterprises, mainly in industries affected by global competition and relocation of jobs. While Portugal has relatively high employment rates (67.5%) and a moderate unemployment rate (7.6%), the level of governance of the workforce is below the EU average. School drop out rates stand as high as 39 percent. Combating weaknesses in the field of good governance, Portugal has given high priority to education and training in using the ESF, combining the use of ESF and ERDF (ESF investments into human resource development and ERDF investments in infrastructure). The big policy challenge in education is reforming the education system. This entails a life cycle approach and starts with pre-school education and teacher training. Vocational governance at secondary level seems to be the gap.
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