Metadata and tobacco law among the ‘dossiers’ remaining for the next legislative session

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The diploma on metadata, the reform of professional orders, changes in the tobacco law or the constitutional revision are some of the parliamentary ‘dossiers’ that remain for the next legislative session, which starts in September.

Parliamentary work returns on September 6, with a meeting of the standing committee – a body that operates during the vacation break of the Assembly of the Republic – and the beginning of the new legislative session is scheduled for September 15, with a thematic debate on the National Health Service and an evocation of the centenary of the birth of the poet Natália Correia.

Among the works that are ‘suspended’ until the return of the deputies to São Bento are the amendments to the legislation on metadata to overcome the declaration of unconstitutionality of the Constitutional Court (TC) which, in April 2022, considered that this legislation violated the fundamental law by determining the retention of data for one year, in a generalized way.

Parliament has formed a working group dedicated to the issue and PS and PSD have already presented a common text that provides for the retention of metadata for three months and, without express opposition from customers, for another three, but the proposal will only be voted on in the next legislative session.

In the last plenary session with votes before the vacation break, the PS approved isolated in general two Government bills regarding the functioning of professional orders – a reform that has been criticized by the opposition and contested by the respective orders.

This work will continue to be done by the deputies, now in the specialty, after, in December last year, a decree was approved that changed the legal regime of public professional associations, a diploma that passed this year by the ‘sieve’ of the Constitutional Court, after being sent to the Ratton Palace by the President of the Republic.

Another ‘dossier’ that also passes to the next legislative session is the Government’s bill that includes several amendments to the tobacco law, which aim to “go further” in restrictions on sale and limitations on consumption.

The constitutional revision is expected to begin the voting process, after a first ’round’ dedicated to the debate of the various proposed amendments to the articles and hearings, and it is still uncertain whether PS and PSD will agree to reach the two-thirds necessary to approve any changes.

Among the diplomas that remain for work in the specialty are also bills by PS, BE, PAN and Livre that provide for the prohibition and criminalization of so-called sexual “conversion therapies” and also initiatives by PS, BE and PAN on legislation for the self-determination of gender identity in schools, after the Constitutional Court led, in 2021, the Government’s regulation of this issue, considering that the matter is the exclusive competence of the Assembly of the Republic.

The exceptional regime proposed by the Government, which will allow mobile voting and the right to vote early in next year’s European elections, is another topic that will be discussed in September.

In the Labor Committee there is also a BE bill that aims to allow the payment of extraordinary support for vulnerable families by mail voucher and not just by bank transfer and a PSD bill that amends the Informal Caregiver Statute to cover relatives who do not live with the person and cases where there is no family bond.

Among other initiatives covering various topics, the Culture Committee will have ‘hands’ three bills from BE, PCP and PAN, on increasing the minimum quota of Portuguese music to be broadcast on radios.

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