The Portuguese Parliament and EU affairs

Briefing 12-01-2021

According to the Portuguese Constitution adopted in 1976, Portugal is a semi-presidential Republic and a parliamentary democracy. It is a unitary state which also includes two autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira archipelagos) with their own political and administrative statutes and self-governing institutions (Article 6 of the Constitution). The Constitution of the Third Republic created a single representative body: the Assembly of the Republic (Assembleia da República). The Assembly exercises national sovereign power alongside the President of the Republic, the Government and the courts. Its primary function is to represent all Portuguese citizens, and as such it acts as the main legislator and is the body to which the executive is accountable. The Assembly and the Government share legislative competence, but the Assembly also has exclusive responsibility to legislate on certain specific matters such as on elections and referendums, the working of the Constitutional Court, political associations and parties, and national symbols (see Article 164 of the Constitution for the full list). This briefing is part of an EPRS series on national parliaments (NPs) and EU affairs. It aims to provide an overview of the way the NPs of EU Member States are structured and how they process, scrutinise and engage with EU legislation. It also provides information on relevant NP publications.