Based on a Globally Structured Agenda for Education, this article presents the construction of the New Opportunities Initiative in Portugal. Thus, it analyses the relationship between the European Union and the Portuguese State with regard to the construction of this programme, identifying
for this purpose the effects of governance processes. Through an analysis of Education and Training 2010 Program and New Opportunities Initiative documents, issued between 2000 and 2010, the strengthening of the discursive rhetoric based on a utilitarian and instrumental perspective of adult
education and the incorporation of the principles of new public management in the field of education can be shown. In Portugal, the New Opportunities Initiative not only reflects these trends but also gives rise to a new way of constructing policies in the field of adult education.