Subsidiarity control in the Assembleia da República is ruled by Law no. 43/2006 of 25 August 2006 as amended by Law no. 21/2012 of 17 May 2012 - Monitoring, assessment and pronouncement by the Assembly of the Republic within the scope of the process of constructing the European Union.

Accordingly the Portuguese Parliament shall issue opinions on matters that fall within the sphere of its reserved legislative competence and are pending decision at European Union bodies and on the other initiatives of European institutions. Those opinions may be issued under the Political Dialogue with the European Commission and the Treaty of Lisbon provisions on the role of national Parliaments regarding the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality.

The scrutiny procedure at the Portuguese Parliament stands as follows:


Responsible body


Day 1

European Affairs Committee (EAC)


EAC sends the European initiatives (legislative or non legislative) to the competent parliamentary committee (if the subject is shared in terms of competence by more than one parliamentary committee, the initiative will be sent to the relevant ones), for information or report.

If the two Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Regions are competent in the subject, EAC asks for their opinions.

Between week 4 to 6

Competent parliamentary committee (CPC)


»If it is a EU draft legislative act (Protocol 2 of the Treaty of Lisbon), the CPC nominates a Rapporteur, who draws a report.


»If it is a non legislative draft act (EC’s political dialogue), the CPC decides whether to analyse the initiative or not. If it decides to do so, the CPC nominates a Rapporteur, who draws a report.


The report, in both cases, is forwarded to the EAC


Legislative Assemblies of the Autonomous Regions (LAAR)

If one or both of the LAAR consider the initiative as relevant and decides to scrutinize it, each of them will nominate a Rapporteur, who issues an opinion.


The opinion is then forwarded to the EAC

Between week 6 to 8

European Affairs Committee (EAC)

EAC nominates a Member of Parliament to draw the opinion, which should take into consideration the CPC reports and LAAR opinions. The EAC’s opinion is then discussed at the committee level.


»If the EAC adopts a reasoned opinion sustaining the non compliance of the draft legislative act with the principle of subsidiarity, the opinion is sent to the Plenary for consideration.


If the draft legislative act falls within the sphere of the Parliament’s exclusive legislative competence, the written opinion is sent to the Plenary for consideration.


»In any other cases, a written opinion is sent to the Speaker.


Plenary of the Portuguese Parliament

The reasoned opinion or the written opinion shall be placed on the next agenda of the Plenary (simple majority will be enough for approval).

Before deadline

Speaker of the Portuguese Parliament

The Speaker sends the AR opinion [written opinion/reasoned opinion + CPC reports + (if applicable) LAAR opinion] to the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Council of the European Union and the President of the European Commission, as well as to the Portuguese Government.

Publication of the AR opinion on the IPEX.

The procedure is then concluded.