Portugal

   

Executive Capacity

#20
Key Findings
With policy flexibility expanding as the crisis recedes, Portugal falls into the middle ranks (rank 20) with regard to executive capacity. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.2 points relative to its 2014 level.

The impact of strategic-planning bodies is small. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has limited policy-assessment capabilities, while the minister of finance has been extremely influential. Informal coordination mechanisms were vital under the Socialist Party government in power through late 2019, which relied on other parties for parliamentary support.

A new economic-impact evaluation methodology, while still being developed, is improving RIA practices. The government consults particularly with economic actors. Communication and coordination efforts have been mostly effective despite the need to rely on non-coalition parties for parliamentary support. Regulation is generally enforced without bias, though the efficiency of enforcement is low.

The Costa government has successfully balanced austerity reductions with continued budgetary restraint. The cabinet system gives ministers incentives to follow the government program. A decentralization program is underway, with greater funding being provided to local governments along with greater responsibility.

Strategic Capacity

#27

How much influence do strategic planning units and bodies have on government decision-making?

10
 9

Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions, and they exercise strong influence on government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Their influence on government decision-making is systematic but limited in issue scope or depth of impact.
 5
 4
 3


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Occasionally, they exert some influence on government decision-making.
 2
 1

In practice, there are no units and bodies taking a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions.
Strategic Planning
5
There have been virtually no changes with regard to strategic capacity. While there are strategic planning bodies in most ministries, their impact remains limited. The prime minister’s advisory cabinet is more influential, but it has to deal with a number of day-to-day demands in addition to offering a long-term view on policy challenges and viable solutions. Immediate issues tend to gain precedence over long-term policy planning. The government’s minority status, which makes it dependent on the parliamentary support of three other parties in the parliament, has not contributed to an increase in strategic planning. Furthermore, the fact that the period under review was an election year further weakened the capacity for strategic planning, as ministers’ attentions were inevitably drawn to the election.

Does the government regularly take into account advice from non-governmental experts during decision-making?

10
 9

In almost all cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


For major political projects, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 2
 1

The government does not consult with non-governmental experts, or existing consultations lack transparency entirely and/or are exclusively pro forma.
Expert Advice
5
The government utilizes academic experts for research on a wide variety of topics and to implement strategic development. However, they are mainly used on an ad hoc basis, and without a systematic academic-consultation mechanism in place.

Interministerial Coordination

#16

Does the government office / prime minister’s office (GO / PMO) have the expertise to evaluate ministerial draft bills according to the government’s priorities?

10
 9

The GO / PMO provides regular, independent evaluations of draft bills for the cabinet / prime minister. These assessments are guided exclusively by the government’s priorities.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO evaluates most draft bills according to the government’s priorities.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO can rely on some sectoral policy expertise but does not evaluate draft bills.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not have any sectoral policy expertise. Its role is limited to collecting, registering and circulating documents submitted for cabinet meetings.
GO Expertise
6
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has limited policy expertise. While it is able to assess bills, it lacks the resources for in-depth policy assessment capabilities within most policy areas. Under the preceding Passos Coelho government, policy assessment largely centered on budgetary implications, notably in terms of reducing costs and/or increasing revenue. This was particularly true during the bailout period, but persisted into the post-bailout. Under the first Costa government, budgetary implications remained important, as the government sought to maintain its euro area commitments. However, this government also evaluated how policy proposals might impact its parliamentary entente with its parliamentary partners, the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), the Left Bloc (BE), People-Animals-Nature Party (PAN) and the Greens (PEV).

It remains to be seen how the new government formed following the 2019 legislative elections will operate. While it is nominally identical – a minority Socialist executive headed by António Costa – it does not have the formal parliamentary support of other parties. Moreover, the new government structure hints at a possible reduction in the internal influence of the minister of finance, which may also have an impact in this regard. However, it is too early to tell, as the new government took office on 26 October 2019, right at the end of the review period for this report.

To what extent do line ministries involve the government office/prime minister’s office in the preparation of policy proposals?

10
 9

There are inter-related capacities for coordination between GO/PMO and line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO is regularly briefed on new developments affecting the preparation of policy proposals.
 5
 4
 3


Consultation is rather formal and focuses on technical and drafting issues.
 2
 1

Consultation occurs only after proposals are fully drafted as laws.
Line Ministries
7
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is regularly briefed on new developments affecting the preparation of policy proposals.
The minister of finance, Mário Centeno, was by far the most influential minister in the Council of Ministers under the 21st constitutional government that was in office until October 2019. His internal prestige is bolstered by the international recognition he receives as president of the Eurogroup. In many cases, it was Minister Centeno that pushed back on policies. It remains to be seen whether this pattern will be maintained under the 22nd constitutional government that took office on 26 October 2019. As noted in the previously, the new government structure hints at a possible reduction in the internal weight of the minister of finance. However, it is far too early to tell.

How effectively do ministerial or cabinet committees coordinate cabinet proposals?

10
 9

The vast majority of cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated first by committees.
 8
 7
 6


Most cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated by committees, in particular proposals of political or strategic importance.
 5
 4
 3


There is little review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees.
 2
 1

There is no review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees. Or: There is no ministerial or cabinet committee.
Cabinet Committees
7
Most ordinary meetings of the Portuguese cabinet – the Council of Ministers – are used for policy decisions rather than strategic policy debates.
Political issues and strategic policy considerations are by-and-large prepared by an inner core of ministers, augmented by other ministers and staff when required. This inner core is an informal group, with a composition that can vary depending on the policy area.
In addition, Council of Ministers meetings are preceded by a formal weekly meeting of junior ministers (Reunião dos Secretários de Estado), which is intended to prepare the Council of Ministers meeting. These meetings of the junior ministers play a crucial role in filtering out and settling more technical issues prior to cabinet meetings. These meetings are chaired by the minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (Presidência do Conselho dos Ministros), who has a seat in the Council of Ministers.

How effectively do ministry officials/civil servants coordinate policy proposals?

10
 9

Most policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 8
 7
 6


Many policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 5
 4
 3


There is some coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
 2
 1

There is no or hardly any coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
Ministerial Bureaucracy
9
There are weekly junior minister meetings, with each ministry represented by one of its junior ministers (known in Portugal as secretaries of state). A key purpose of these meetings is to ensure policy coordination across ministries before proposals reach the cabinet.
These meetings are generally very effective in ensuring policy coordination across government. Furthermore, the work of assessing the various proposals within each ministry is not restricted only to the secretaries of state who attend the meeting, but also include ministerial advisers and, to some degree, senior public administration officials.

How effectively do informal coordination mechanisms complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination?

10
 9

Informal coordination mechanisms generally support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


In most cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

Informal coordination mechanisms tend to undermine rather than complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
Informal Coordination
7
Informal coordination mechanisms are central to government functioning and coordination. The horizontal informal links between ministries help compensate for the absence or rigidity of formal horizontal linkages. Informal coordination became even more important as the Socialist Party government depended on the PCP and BE to pass legislation during the 2015 – 2019 legislature. It appears likely that this pattern will continue under the new government formed in late October 2019.

How extensively and effectively are digital technologies used to support interministerial coordination (in policy development and monitoring)?

10
 9

The government uses digital technologies extensively and effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


The government uses digital technologies in most cases and somewhat effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


The government uses digital technologies to a lesser degree and with limited effects to support interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

The government makes no substantial use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination.
Digitalization for Interministerial C.
6
There is a unit responsible for providing technological support to the government, the Centro de Gestão da Rede Informática do Governo (Ceger).

This has a central remit to manage the government’s IT network (Rede Informática do Governo, RInG). The information on Ceger’s website indicates that there were 32 people working in this service in 2018, with a plan to increase this to 35 in 2019.

Ceger’s services involve basic IT support (e.g., government email, internet access, data protection).

It also has as a remit to provide technological support for cabinet and junior minister meetings, while decree-law 16/2002 stipulates that it should develop common information networks and decision support systems for government.

However, the actual implementation of the latter is ongoing. The existing evidence is anecdotal, but suggests that the full potential of these technologies is as yet unrealized for policy development and monitoring. An indicator of this is that it is not uncommon for ministers to use their own devices (or not to use any device at all) at cabinet meetings.

Evidence-based Instruments

#35

To what extent does the government assess the potential impacts of existing and prepared legal acts (regulatory impact assessments, RIA)?

10
 9

RIA are applied to all new regulations and to existing regulations which are characterized by complex impact paths. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 8
 7
 6


RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 5
 4
 3


RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
 2
 1

RIA are not applied or do not exist.
RIA Application
6
The government’s program includes the goal of “ex ante and ex post evaluation of the impact of structuring legislation, especially that which carries costs for small and medium-sized enterprises,” and it has assigned this task to its Agency for Administration Modernization (Agência de Modernização Administrativa).

Documents from the government indicate that it retained the small and medium-sized enterprise test (“PME test” in Portuguese), as well as the “one-in, one-out” or “Comporta Regulatória” rule designed to compensate citizens or companies for new costs resulting from new legislation, both of which were approved in 2014.

In March 2017, the government approved a trial methodology for evaluating the economic impact of government proposals (the “Custa Quanto?” measure). A report on this trial was published in January 2018, which included the OECD’s evaluation of this measure. In sum, the OECD considered the measure an important first step, although it still lacked some fundamental aspects of RIAs. Overall, the OECD found in its Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018 for Portugal that levels of RIA in Portugal remain well below the OECD average.

In 2018, in the aftermath of a June 2018 Council of Ministers Resolution, the “Custa Quanto?” methodology was formalized. Furthermore, its scope was widened to include not only decree-law proposals but also law proposals by the government, to account not only for the costs to companies but also to citizens and to allow for ex post impact assessments. In total, some 235 legislative projects were submitted for assessment in 2018.

The “Custa Quanto?” is still being improved and developed. The plan for 2019 is, among other things, to “develop a tool that will simplify the undertaking of impact assessments, based on standardized criteria,” according to the ministry’s explanation to parliament regarding its budget for 2019.

Citations:
Governo de Portugal (2018), “Nota Explicativa – Orçamento do Estado 2019 – Apreciação Na Especialidade,” available online at: https://www.parlamento.pt/Documents/2018/Novembro/NEplicativaPresModernizacaoAdministrativa.pdf

OECD (2018), “Regulatory Policy Outlook 2018 Portugal,” DOI: https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264303072-41-en

UTAIL – Unidade Técnica de Avaliação de Impacto Legislativo (2018), “Relatório de actividade – Ano de 2017: projeto-piloto da medida “Custa Quanto?,” available online at: https://www.jurisapp.gov.pt/media/1019/30012017-utail-relatorio-atividades.pdf

UTAIL – Unidade Técnica de Avaliação de Impacto Legislativo (2019), “Relatório de atividade – Ano de 2018,” available online at: https://www.jurisapp.gov.pt/media/1054/utail-relatorio-2018_final_15042019_publica.pdf

Does the RIA process ensure participation, transparency and quality evaluation?

10
 9

RIA analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis.
 8
 7
 6


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
 2
 1

RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
Quality of RIA Process
2
Regarding the “Quanto Custa?” trial, the OECD remarked on the need for greater stakeholder involvement. Impact-assessment results are not generally made publicly available or systematically communicated. There are, however, evaluations of impact-assessment quality rendered by the OECD. Though how frequently these are undertaken is unclear.

Does the government conduct effective sustainability checks within the framework of RIA?

10
 9

Sustainability checks are an integral part of every RIA; they draw on an exhaustive set of indicators (including social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability) and track impacts from the short- to long-term.
 8
 7
 6


Sustainability checks lack one of the three criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Sustainability checks lack two of the three criteria.
 2
 1

Sustainability checks do not exist or lack all three criteria.
Sustainability Check
2
Sustainability checks are not integrated systematically into impact assessments. They may take place in some assessment processes but not in others, in a rather ad hoc fashion that depends on who is carrying out the impact assessment. The same is true with regard to the use of sustainability-focused indicators, as well as the temporal dimension of the analyses.

To what extent do government ministries regularly evaluate the effectiveness and/or efficiency of public policies and use results of evaluations for the revision of existing policies or development of new policies?

10
 9

Ex post evaluations are carried out for all significant policies and are generally used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 8
 7
 6


Ex post evaluations are carried out for most significant policies and are used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 5
 4
 3


Ex post evaluations are rarely carried out for significant policies and are rarely used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 2
 1

Ex post evaluations are generally not carried out and do not play any relevant role for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
Quality of Ex Post Evaluation
3
A recent study noted that ex post evaluation is very weakly institutionalized in Portugal. The ex post evaluations that take place are largely the result of external pressures (notably, EU requirements) and circumscribed to a limited set of policy areas – usually, those that legally require ex post evaluation.

Citations:
Ana Diogo (2018), “Hacia un sistema integrado de M&E para los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible en Portugal” [dissertation], available online at: https://www.somosiberoamerica.org/investigaciones/la-evaluacion-de-la-agenda-2030/

A Avaliação de Políticas Públicas by the GEE – O Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, do Ministério da Economia

Societal Consultation

#29

Does the government consult with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner?

10
 9

The government always consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 8
 7
 6


The government in most cases consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 5
 4
 3


The government does consult with societal actors, but mostly in an unfair and clientelistic manner.
 2
 1

The government rarely consults with any societal actors.
Public Consultation
5
The government consults with some societal actors. For example, the Social and Economic Council (Conselho Económico e Social, CES) serves as a constitutional body for consultation and social concertation. Within the CES, there is a Standing Committee on Social Concertation (Comissão Permanente de Concertação Social, CPCS) that brings together the government, employer associations and trade unions. The CES and the CPCS continued to hold regular discussions during the period under review

Policy Communication

#3

To what extent does the government achieve coherent communication?

10
 9

Ministries are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 8
 7
 6


Ministries most of the time are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 5
 4
 3


Ministries occasionally issue public statements that contradict the public communication of other ministries or the government strategy.
 2
 1

Strategic communication planning does not exist; individual ministry statements regularly contradict each other. Messages are often not factually consistent with the government’s strategy.
Coherent Communication
8
Prime Minister António Costa’s government showed itself to be mostly effective in terms of communication and coordination during the review period, despite being a minority government with an unprecedented parliamentary-support coalition.

Implementation

#19

To what extent can the government achieve its own policy objectives?

10
 9

The government can largely implement its own policy objectives.
 8
 7
 6


The government is partly successful in implementing its policy objectives or can implement some of its policy objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The government partly fails to implement its objectives or fails to implement several policy objectives.
 2
 1

The government largely fails to implement its policy objectives.
Government Effectiveness
8
The government that was in office for most of the period under review was the 21st constitutional government of António Costa, which held office until 25 October 2019. This government was guided by the government program, Programa do XXI Governo Constitucional 2015 – 2019. The government implemented a number of measures seeking to alleviate conditions of austerity. A number of these measures resulted from the government’s negotiations with the PCP and BE to ensure their parliamentary support. Other more ambitious goals, such as administrative modernization, were also developed. The government has also been able to successfully reconcile EU demands and world market scrutiny regarding budgetary consolidation, with the no-less-intense demands of its parliamentary allies regarding austerity alleviation. During the period under review, the government was mostly successful in negotiating these pressures and advancing its policy agenda.

However, José Maria Sousa Rego, who was general secretary of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers between 2002 and 2016, wrote a book and has given extensive interviews in which he raised serious questions about the policy achievements of Portuguese governments.

However, regarding the activities of the 21st constitutional government during the period under review, there seems to be a large degree of truth to the report appearing in the newspaper Publico which signaled clear improvements in investment, exportations and Portuguese industries.

Citations:
Programa do XXI Governo Constitucional, 2015 – 2019.

Jose Maria Sousa Rego, “No centro do power-Governo e Administração Publica em Portugal” Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, 2018

https://www.publico.pt/2019/…/estado-nacao-governo-considera-ja-cumpriu-81-medi

To what extent does the organization of government provide mechanisms to ensure that ministers implement the government’s program?

10
 9

The organization of government successfully provides strong mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 8
 7
 6


The organization of government provides some mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 5
 4
 3


The organization of government provides weak mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 2
 1

The organization of government does not provide any mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
Ministerial Compliance
7
The organization of relations in the parliamentary and cabinet systems ensure that ministers have incentives to implement the government’s program. While ministers in the PS government, which held office until late October 2019, were generally aligned with the government program, the fact that the government had to depend on three other parties with very different orientations to pass legislation did create difficulties with regard to ministerial compliance.

How effectively does the government office/prime minister’s office monitor line ministry activities with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The GO / PMO effectively monitors the implementation activities of all line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of most line ministries.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of some line ministries.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not monitor the implementation activities of line ministries.
Monitoring Ministries
7
Ministries in Portugal are not independent of the prime minister. The prime minister is also assisted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and by the Office of the Adjunct Secretary of State of the Prime Minister. These entities can and do monitor all line ministries’ implementation activities. However, the lack of in-depth policy capacity and the reality of limited resources limit the overall degree of control.

Citations:
https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc21/governo/composicao

https://www.publico.pt/remodelacao-governamental

How effectively do federal and subnational ministries monitor the activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The ministries effectively monitor the implementation activities of all bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 8
 7
 6


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of most bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of some bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 2
 1

The ministries do not monitor the implementation activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies.
Monitoring Agencies|Bureaucracies
8
Over the course of the 1990s and 2000s, Portugal experienced a proliferation of quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations, agencies and other structures.
In the context of the bailout, the Passos Coelho government closed and restructured a number of these agencies, while also tightening control over their work in order to reduce public expenditure.
This increased scrutiny generally remains in the current, post-bailout period. Appointments to these agencies seek to ensure fairly high levels of ex ante alignment between the appointee and the government, which constrains bureaucratic drift. At the ex post level, the political staff of ministries monitor the activities of these agencies, paying greater attention to the more relevant agencies.

To what extent does the central government ensure that tasks delegated to subnational self-governments are adequately funded?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to fulfill all their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 8
 7
 6


The central government enables subnational governments to fulfill most of their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 5
 4
 3


The central government sometimes and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational governments.
 2
 1

The central government often and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational self-governments.
Task Funding
7
Portugal is one of the most centralized countries in Western Europe, with autonomous self-governing areas in the island regions of the Azores and Madeira. A total of 308 municipalities represent the main subnational level of government. Few tasks are decentralized, which is reflected in very low levels of subnational public expenditure overall. According to available OECD figures for 2017, subnational government expenditure in Portugal accounts for 12.6% of total public expenditure (compared to an OECD average of 40.4%) or 5.7% of GDP (compared to an OECD average of 16.2%). Eurostat data for 2018 indicates that local government expenditure in Portugal accounts for 5.8% of GDP, the sixth lowest in the European Union (behind Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Luxembourg and Ireland) and almost half the EU average (10.6% of GDP).

The 21st constitutional government approved, in July 2018, a deal with the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities, which involves a greater delegation of tasks and increased funding for local governments. Implementation of this decentralization program began in 2019, with municipalities able to selectively adopt elements of the decentralization process between 2019 and 2020. Though all elements of the decentralization package will become mandatory in 2021. According to the government’s data, 64.7% of municipalities chose to take on some additional responsibilities in 2019.

Citations:
Diário de Notícias (2018), “Acordo de descentralização fechado. Municípios recebem 7,5% do IVA,” available online at: https://www.dn.pt/poder/interior/acordo-de-descentralizacao-quase-fechado-municipios-recebem-75-do-iva-9542770.html

Governo de Portugal (2019), “Cerca de dois terços dos municípios aderem à Descentralização,,” available online at: https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc21/comunicacao/noticia?i=cerca-de-dois-tercos-dos-municipios-aderem-a-descentralizacao

Governo de Portugal (2019), Portal Autárquico – Transferência de Competências, available online at: http://www.portalautarquico.dgal.gov.pt/transferencia_de_competencias

Eurostat (2019), “Government revenue, expenditure and main aggregates,” available online at: https://bit.ly/3giz3nx

OECD (2018) “Regions and Cities at a Glance 2018 – PORTUGAL” available online at: http://www.oecd.org/cfe/PORTUGAL-Regions-and-Cities-2018.pdf

https://dre.pt/home/-/dre/118748850/details/maximized

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments may use their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to make full use of their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 8
 7
 6


Central government policies inadvertently limit the subnational self-governments’ scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 5
 4
 3


The central government formally respects the constitutional autonomy of subnational self-governments, but de facto narrows their scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 2
 1

The central government deliberately precludes subnational self-governments from making use of their constitutionally provided implementation autonomy.
Constitutional Discretion
6
Formally, the central government enables subnational governments to make full use of their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to policy implementation. However, in practice it is the central government that generally has considerable control.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services?

10
 9

Central government effectively ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 8
 7
 6


Central government largely ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 5
 4
 3


Central government ensures that subnational self-governments realize national minimum standards of public services.
 2
 1

Central government does not ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
National Standards
6
National standards are largely uniformly applied, albeit as a result of the control and provision of most public services by the central government. However, there are differences between municipalities in some services, as in the case of infrastructure, culture and extracurricular educational offerings. Similarly, differences in service provision can result from the “luck of the draw” in terms of the specific civil servant a citizen encounters. This reflects both the complex and frequently changing policy framework and the relative lack of accountability in public-services provision.

To what extent is government enforcing regulations in an effective and unbiased way, also against vested interests?

10
 9

Government agencies enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 8
 7
 6


Government agencies, for the most part, enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 5
 4
 3


Government agencies enforce regulations, but ineffectively and with bias.
 2
 1

Government agencies enforce regulations ineffectively, inconsistently and with bias.
Regulatory Enforcement
5
On the whole, government agencies enforce regulations on powerful vested interests largely without bias. While the level of effectiveness is low, this is a general problem in Portugal, particularly when faced by powerful vested interests that are more adept at finding loopholes in Portugal’s complex legal structure.

At the same time, these vested interests may well have the ability to capture and shape regulation toward their interests. As such, government agencies may to some extent be enforcing regulations that are already designed to serve the interests of these interests.

Adaptability

#10

To what extent does the government respond to international and supranational developments by adapting domestic government structures?

10
 9

The government has appropriately and effectively adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 8
 7
 6


In many cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 2
 1

The government has not adapted domestic government structures, no matter how beneficial adaptation might be.
Domestic Adaptability
7
The European Union is vital to Portugal in all respects. Since joining the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1986, Portugal has become an integral part of Europe, with all the implications arising from integration into a huge variety of legal, organizational, security and reporting frameworks. While the government of Portugal has not yet applied all of the EU laws and regulations, it is steadily adopting EU policies. Obviously, since Portugal is part of the European Union, and dependent upon it for funds and trade, the country has had to adapt its structures accordingly.
In terms of organizational adaptation, this is reflected in the creation of positions such as the secretary of state for European affairs in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the General-Directorate for European Affairs. In addition, almost all ministries have structures designed to interact with the EU level.

To what extent is the government able to collaborate effectively with international efforts to foster global public goods?

10
 9

The government can take a leading role in shaping and implementing collective efforts to provide global public goods. It is able to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
 8
 7
 6


The government is largely able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Existing processes enabling the government to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress are, for the most part, effective.
 5
 4
 3


The government is partially able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Processes designed to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress show deficiencies.
 2
 1

The government does not have sufficient institutional capacities to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. It does not have effective processes to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
International Coordination
8
Although Portugal is small, relatively poor and not very influential as a nation, it is a member of the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, the World Trade Organization and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, CPLP), among other groups. It works actively with other nations through these organizations to develop policies. Given the country’s size and importance, it collaborates quite effectively in shaping and implementing collective efforts to provide global public goods.

Portugal “punches well above its weight” in military diplomacy through participation in peacekeeping and humanitarian relief programs under the auspices of the European Union, the UN and NATO. It must also be noted that the previous president of the European Commission (José Manuel Durão Barroso) and the current secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, are Portuguese, both having been prime ministers of the country.

The Costa government sought to increase the country’s influence in terms of shaping the European Union’s future. The nomination of Minister of Finance Centeno to the presidency of the Eurogroup was a reflection of this. In addition, António Costa was ranked ninth in the Politico “28 Class of 2018,” which listed “the 28 people who are shaping, shaking and stirring Europe.”

Citations:
Politico, “28 Class of 2018 – The ranking,” available online at: https://www.politico.eu/list/politico-28-2018-ranking/

Organizational Reform

#27

To what extent do actors within the government monitor whether institutional arrangements of governing are appropriate?

10
 9

The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly and effectively.
 8
 7
 6


The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly.
 5
 4
 3


The institutional arrangements of governing are selectively and sporadically monitored.
 2
 1

There is no monitoring.
Self-monitoring
5
During the period under review, no substantial measures have been introduced concerning the monitoring of institutional arrangements and there is little evidence of de facto monitoring of institutional governance arrangements. What little monitoring occurs appears to be reactive to political crises or challenges. The rules of procedure for the Council of Ministers make no reference to self-monitoring mechanisms.

Citations:
Regimento do Conselho de Ministros do XXI Governo Constitucional – Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n.º 95-A/2015, Diário da República n.º 246/2015, 1º Suplemento, Série I de 2015-12-17, available online at:: https://data.dre.pt/eli/resolconsmin/95-a/2015/p/cons/20171113/pt/html

To what extent does the government improve its strategic capacity by changing the institutional arrangements of governing?

10
 9

The government improves its strategic capacity considerably by changing its institutional arrangements.
 8
 7
 6


The government improves its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 5
 4
 3


The government does not improve its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 2
 1

The government loses strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
Institutional Reform
5
There is no evidence that the Costa government significantly changed institutional arrangements in such a way as to improve strategic capacity during the period under review.

The promise of state reform appears to be a constant theme for all recent governments in Portugal.
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