The Portuguese Constitutional Court in its context

For a long period, EU law was seen as separate from constitutional law, the primary province of ordinary courts. The underdevelopment of Portuguese constitutional caselaw regarding EU law can be partially attributed to procedural and doctrinal specificities. The normative and institutional impact of EU integration was not fully realised at the constitutional level until the eurozone crisis hit. Amid a normative conundrum and pressed by the urgency of the bailout timeframe, the Constitutional Court preferred to avoid dealing with a possible conflict between EU and domestic constitutional law and rejected any European dimension to the austerity conflicts it adjudicated. This “voluntary displacement from EU law” has persisted until recently. In 2020, the Court has finally engaged explicitly with EU law and the European Court of Justice showing that it now clearly wishes to express its voice in the European circuit of adjudication.