The Portuguese Parliament and EU Affairs: From Inert to Agile Democratic Control
The constitutional history of Portugal in the 20th century is marked by struggles to establish a democratic regime. Democracy only arrived in Portugal after the unstable First Republic (1910–1926), the National Dictatorship (1926–1933) and the autocratic Second Republic (1933–1976) led by Prime Minister António Salazar, a former economics professor at Coimbra University and finance minister. Salazar’s regime, which he dubbed the New State (Estado Novo), was a negation of democratic participation. All political parties except for Salazar’s National Union were banned and the system was ‘militantly antiparliamentary’ (Miranda, 1997). Salazar’s successor, Marcelo Caetano, a former law professor at the University of Lisbon, was unable to halt the regime’s downfall. The mounting resentment culminated on 25 April 1974, when the Armed Forces Movement carried out a peaceful coup d’état known as the Revolution of Carnations (Revoluçào dos Cravos) (De Lucena, 2002). The decades-long personal dictatorship ended in 1976 with the adoption of the current Portuguese Constitution. The consequent birth of the Third Republic resulted in the resurrection of a representative body — the Assembly of the Republic (Opello, 1978).
KeywordsEuropean Union National Parliament European Union Level Lisbon Treaty European Union Policy
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