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Introduction

The National Reform Programme (NRP) is a national strategy and planning instrument which is part of the
political process of economic and social governance of the European Union (EU). It is drafted and presented annually by the government of each country, following the European Semester institutional calendar, which was created and designed to guarantee the coordination of different member states’ public policies with the guidelines and policies pursued in the European framework.

One of the challenges underlying the development of the NRP is the aligning of policy priorities which respond to national needs and challenges with the EU policy guidelines, which together express the purpose of convergence and socioeconomic cohesion and are associated with a set of funding programmes.

This document encompasses the entire public policy planning process. The preparation of each yearly programme is based on an analysis of the previous one, thus allowing timely adaptation of reforms and investments to national and European conditions, circumstances and priorities. In this sense, the evaluation of the NRP is an important component, as it allows the effectiveness and efficiency of the measures set out therein and the respective impact on the development of each country to be gauged. In addition, it provides an annual assessment of national contributions to achieving key EU objectives.

Although there is no rigid and prearranged institutional consultation protocol, the elaboration and implementation of the NRP is the result of participatory processes involving, in addition to various State bodies and entities, civil society actors.

The responsibility for drafting the NRP for Portugal lies with the Government. With the publication of Decree-Law 21/2021 of 15 March, PlanAPP was tasked with coordinating the drafting of this programme and monitoring its implementation, in cooperation with the government foreign affairs and finance departments.

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