Remarks on Acts of EU Law as Sources of Law on Religious Denominations (Law on Religion) in Poland

Some acts of EU law are sources of law on religious denominations (law on religion). It means that these acts contain legal norms on freedom of conscience and religion and status of religious denominations in a member state. Examples of relevant regulations in the sources of primary law are included in, inter alia, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Treaty on the European Union as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (although pursuant to Protocol no. 30 the Charter, however binding, in effect does not affect the content of binding law in Poland). The EU primary law has formulated two principles: respect of freedom of conscience and religion and the no interference principle, according to which EU respects and does not prejudice the status of churches, religious associations or communities and philosophical and non-confessional organisations under national law of the member states. However, selected secondary law instruments do touch upon the rights and duties of religious denominations incidentally and in a fragmentary way, yet such interventions may in effect turn out to be extensive. This may yield negative results, as acts of secondary law allow bans to be placed on ritual slaughter or attempt to diminish the autonomy of religious denominations in the field of employment. This development shall be viewed together with relevant provisions on the system of reliefs from customs duties or on restricting television advertising and teleshopping during transmissions of religious services.

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