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Law and Religion in EuropeA Comparative Introduction$
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Norman Doe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604005.001.0001

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The Religion Law of the European Union

The Religion Law of the European Union

(p.237) 10 The Religion Law of the European Union
Law and Religion in Europe

Norman Doe

Oxford University Press

This chapter proposes that the contemporary posture of the European Union towards religion is based on seven fundamentals: the value of religion; subsidiarity (that religious affairs are primarily a matter for each member State at its own national level); religious freedom; religious equality (and non-discrimination); the autonomy of religious associations; cooperation with religion (through regular dialogue); and the special protection of religion by means of privileges and exemptions. These are summed up in the Lisbon Treaty 2007. However, it is suggested that these fundamentals have not been formulated de novo but are to be found in a plethora of pre-existing EU instruments. The chapter also proposes that the principles of religion law common to the States of Europe (articulated in the previous chapters and set out in the Appendix) themselves represent the fundamentals of the EU category of ‘general principles common to the laws of the Member States’ and should be used as an inspirational source in this field.

Keywords:   European Union, value of religion, subsidiarity, religious freedom, religious equality, non-discrimination, religious associations, cooperation with religion

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