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Reform Support
© EU

Supporting reforms to reinforce efficient and high quality public administrations

Funding Programme
  • 2021

National Smart Cities Strategy

The European Commission supported the Portuguese authorities aiming to define the National Smart Cities Strategy, to foster the development of smart cities that provide people-centred, inclusive, sustainable and interoperable services to citizens and businesses ­throughout the national territory. 

The project will establish a framework and a governance model for the common good, enabling the acceleration of innovation, optimising associated public expenditure and improving decision-making.


In April 2020, Portugal approved its Action Plan for Digital Transition, acting under three pillars:

  • Capacity Building and digital inclusion of people;
  • Digital transformation of businesses;
  • Digitalisation of public administration.

The National Smart Cities Strategy falls under the third pillar, contributing towards a clear vision and robust governance model to drive evolution from multiple smart cities to a coherent smart national model, using common principles and utilising public expenditure efficiently.

The Portuguese authorities are engaged in the project through Portugal Digital, with the strong commitment of:

Support delivered  

The project aims to deliver (1) a national smart cities strategy, (2) an action plan with a draft roadmap for implementing the strategy and (3) a smart cities reference architecture; via a fully transparent approach through consultation mechanisms, ensuring the participation of a wider group of stakeholders in its implementation, such as the National Association of Portuguese Counties (ANMP) and the Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDRC).

Expected results

Public administrations at national, regional and local levels deliver crisis response, provide services, implement reforms, manage investments and, more generally, manage public spending to create expected social value. They translate EU law and programmes into concrete actions with long-term effects on economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as on technological progress. They are responsible for the effective and efficient uptake of the EU Funds and play a fundamental role in preserving the EU’s shared values. The quality of public administrations is a defining factor for the competitiveness of Member States and the EU as a whole.

The value of agile public administrations was part of the National Programme of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, with an ensuing commitment to pay particular attention to the modernisation of local government and the role of digitalisation and green policies in developing ‘smart cities’.

More about the project

You can find the final report here: