Young People's Parliament Programme
1. The Young People's Parliament Programme
The Young People’s Parliament is an institutional initiative of the Assembly of the Republic that is carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Education (via the respective Regional Education Directorates), the Regional Secretariats responsible for education and youth in the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira and the Secretariat of State for Youth and Sports, via the Portuguese Institute for Youth. The Programme runs throughout the academic year including the many schools from all over the country who wish to participate and ends with two Sessions at the Parliament, held in April and May:
•One Session aimed at secondary school students (over 15 years old);
•One Session aimed at students from the 2nd and 3rd elementary school cycles (10-15 years old).
2. Goals of the programme
•To promote the interest of young people in civic and political participation;
•To underline the importance of their contribution in solving questions affecting their individual and collective present and future, through the dissemination of their proposals in political bodies;
•To publicise the significance of parliamentary representation and the decision-making process of Parliament, in its capacity as representative body of Portuguese citizens;
•To encourage the development of argumentative skills to defend ideas based on the respect for values such as tolerance and the will of the majority.
Any public, private or cooperative school may register: schools may be from the Mainland, from the Autonomous Regions (Azores and Madeira) and from overseas constituencies in Europe and outside Europe. The Secretariat of State for the Portuguese Communities is responsible for promoting participation from overseas in order for Portuguese young people living abroad to join this initiative.
The act of registration is decided by each school. Registration is formalised once the on-line registration form is submitted.
4. Stages of the Programme
The Young People’s Parliament Programme takes place in several stages throughout the academic year. These phases are similar for the Sessions for both elementary and secondary schools. The Programme runs along the following lines:
•Theme Debate at school, involving as many students as possible, as well as the wider educative community. The school may invite Members of Parliament from its constituency to attend the debate.
•Electoral campaign and elections in which students organise themselves in candidate lists and defend their recommendations in response to the theme of their Session.
•School Session with the elected students, in order to approve the Draft Recommendation of the school and elect their representatives to the District or Regional Session.
•District or Regional Session, with the presence of a Member of Parliament, to approve the decisions of each electoral constituency and elect the school members of parliament to the National Session of the Young People's Parliament.
•National Session of the Young People's Parliament at the Assembly of the Republic. Committee meetings and the plenary sitting take place over a period of 2 days. Members of Parliament preside over the Committees and participate in a “question time” during the plenary sitting. The President of the Assembly of the Republic opens each Session.
5. Programme Coordination
Overall coordination of the Programme is the responsibility of a Project Team of the Assembly of the Republic (reporting to the Secretary-General) and follows guidelines defined by the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Science.
The partner entities, namely the Regional Education Directorates and the Portuguese Institute for Youth, via their regional delegations, have a particularly important role during the preparatory stages leading up to the National Sessions of the Young People’s Parliament.
All the relevant information is available on the Assembly website at:
Coordinator of the Project Team: Marlene Viegas Freire
Telephone: (+351) 213910854
Fax: (+351) 213917096