Asserting the future

A necessary condition for the effectiveness and sustainability of public policies is, first of all, to agree on a good diagnosis of the problems, to analyze and debate the different alternative scenarios of institutions and public policies that will be able to respond to them and to deepen one or two of these medium-term scenarios.

With the project Asserting the future, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, in partnership with the Institute of Public Policy, intended to make a decisive contribution to the materialization of this condition, mainly through several preparatory sectoral workshops and other activities that culminated in an international conference.

The public policies to be addressed under this project were based on four fundamental subjects:

  • Institutions, public finances, and reform of the state;
  • Real economy and sustainable development;
  • Social policy; and
  • Spacial planning and the environment.

Project outputs

The main output of the project consisted of an international conference, the Gulbenkian Conference Asserting the Future: Public Policies for Portugal, held on October 6 and 7, 2014, whose Commissioner was Professor Dr. Viriato Soromenho-Marques. This conference addressed public policies based on permanent national interests and the corresponding long-term strategic options, within the framework of the four subjects mentioned. The best contributions of citizens from various fields of social life, from the economic and business sphere, from the associative world, and from the public administration were gathered here. More information is available on the official website of the conference, where videos of most speeches, slides used by speakers, executive summaries of keynote papers, and other relevant content are available.

This conference resulted in two volumes that correspond to the policy papers and other contributions that were publicly presented throughout it.

Get volume I here

Get volume II here

You can also access here, exclusively, the complete versions of the following chapters of volume I:

  • Chapter 3 – A proposal for the reform of the political system, by Marina Costa Lobo and José Santana Pereira;
  • Chapter 6 – Renewing hope: budget strategy for growth and employment in Portugal in the euro framework, by Paulo Trigo Pereira and Luís Teles Morais;
  • Chapter 7 – For a fairer allocation of the effects of the Adjustment Program in Portugal: unemployment, poverty and social exclusion, by Carlos Farinha Rodrigues; and
  • Chapter 9 – Public Expenditure on Health, by Pedro Pita Barros.

Chapter 3

(in Portuguese)


Chapter 6

(in Portuguese)

Chapter 7

(in Portuguese)

Chapter 9

(in Portuguese)


Paulo Trigo Pereira

Senior Research Fellow - coordinator

Marina Costa Lobo

Senior Research Fellow

Carlos Farinha Rodrigues

Senior Research Fellow

Pedro Pita Barros

Senior Research Fellow

Luís Teles Morais

Research Fellow