Young People's Parliament
1. The Young People's Parliament
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
- One Session aimed at secondary school students (over 15
- 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
- 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