Major Planning Options and State Budget for 2017

The Major Planning Options for 2017, approved by Assembleia da República (AR, the Portuguese Parliament) and published in the Official Gazette on 28 December (Law No. 41/2016 fit into strategies for economic and social development and for consolidation of public accounts set out in the Programme of the XXI Constitutional Government.

The following issues are highlighted, in the scope of the “Promotion of innovation in the Portuguese economy: more knowledge, more innovation, more competitiveness” (point 4):

  • Enhancing digital competences of Portuguese people, as an essential factor to a knowledge economy and society. In this scope, the Government intends to raise levels of digital inclusion and Internet usage. The Digital Competence Initiative is expected to be developed in the framework of this target, in order to qualify more than twenty thousand people in information and communication technologies (ICT) by 2020.
  • Supporting until 2020 the development of a programme for private investment in the expansion of digital networks, including state-of-the-art mobile networks, the coverage of which will be extended to more than 1000 parishes by 2019, in the scope of the renewal of mobile licenses, focusing on the development of the industry action plan 4.0, which according to the Major Planning Options, must rely on modern digital networks that suit an economy highly dependent on the Internet.
  • Developing a national entrepreneurship ecosystem in the scope of the Startup Portugal strategy, in particular by positioning Portugal as a Free Technological Area, setting up for this purpose interdisciplinary working groups focused on establishing/adjusting research-facilitating regulation.

At the level of the “Modernisation of the State” (point 6), the review of the Security Forces and Services Infrastructure and Equipment Programming Policy stands out, which provides, over a five-year investment period (2017-2021), in particular at ICT level, the investment in the emergency and security communication network system (SIRESP), the improvement of network supporting infrastructures, technology maintenance, rehabilitation and improvement work; harnessing of the potential of the network in terms of data location and communication to expand the geo-referenced technology project (SIRESP GL) and to implement the SIRESP ST project, to enable the accurate location of occurrences, as well as the investment in the scope of security and reinforcement of data communication of the National Internal Security Network.

The 2017 State Budget Law, also approved by AR and published in the Official Gazette on 28 December (Law No. 42/2016, anticipates the need for adjustment of the Electronic Communications Law to the regime laid down in article 85 of the State Budget Law - fees for rights-of-way and underground occupation - and provides for its amendment in the course of the first half of 2017.