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Original scientific paper

Legal Status of the Catholic Church as an Economic Entity in EU and Croatian Law

Tomislav Sokol ; Zagreb School of Economics and Management, Zagreb, Croatia
Frane Staničić orcid id orcid.org/0000-0001-8304-7901 ; Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


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Abstract

Regulation of the Catholic Church’s legal status in the European Union primarily falls within the competences of the Member States. The Croatian legal framework in this respect consists of various types of legal rules, most important of which is the set of international agreements entered into between the Republic of Croatia and the Holy See. Still, EU competition, state aid and free movement rules affect this legal framework to a significant degree. The aim of this paper is to analyse the applicability of the said EU rules to the activities of the Catholic Church in Croatia, that is to determine whether the Catholic Church can be considered an undertaking conducting an economic activity (and to what degree) according to the said legal framework, whether the Croatian national legal framework is aligned with the EU rules, and whether there are points of contention in this area which need to be legally rectified. The second part of this paper analyses the European Union state aid and free movement legal framework, primarily trying to determine whether the Catholic Church is an undertaking carrying out an economic activity as prescribed by EU law. In this analysis, several issues emerge which have not been clearly resolved by the Court of Justice. The following part features an outline of the Croatian national legal framework on the legal status of the Catholic Church, focusing on potential points of contention between the national and the EU law. Finally, certain solutions to the mentioned issues are proposed, on the European and the national level, in accordance with legal certainty as the general principle of (EU) law.

Keywords

Catholic Church, state aid, economic activity, undertaking

Hrčak ID:

195556

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/195556

Article data in other languages: croatian

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