A Sisyphean Struggle: Portugal’s Referendum on European Integration

  • Francisco Pereira CoutinhoEmail author


Portugal is one of a handful of Member States which has never held a referendum on European integration. This chapter analyses Francisco Lucas Pires’ contribution to the broad political consensus reached in Portugal on the need to hold a referendum legitimizing the shift towards political integration envisioned by the Treaty of Maastricht. One of his last books, “Amsterdam – From the Market to the European Society”, is a political and legal manifesto in support of the ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam in the run-up to what was expected to be the first Portuguese referendum on European integration. However, legal and political constraints blocked this, and every subsequent, attempt to grant the Portuguese people a direct say on Europe. This chapter explains why calling a referendum on Europe in Portugal has transformed itself into a saga that resembles the mythological Sisyphean task.


Constitutional Treaty European Union Francisco Lucas Pires Portugal Portuguese Constitution Referendum Treaty of Amsterdam 


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Nova de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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