eurel

Données sociologiques et juridiques sur la religion en Europe et au-delà

Tweeter Rss

Accueil > Europe > Statut juridique des religions > Présentation générale > Le droit dérivé

Le droit dérivé

Secondary legislation, adopted on the basis of treaties in the various areas of responsibility of the European Union, is never primarily devoted to religion, but deals with it on an adhoc basis to take into consideration religious freedom or the activities of faith communities who may be affected by the measures adopted. Religion as a whole is seen from two perspectives, that of protecting religious convictions and religious non-discrimination, and that of specific measures or derogations for communities or religious activities.

With regard to the functioning of the bodies of the European Union, the regulations governing officials of the European Communities states that Community personnel have the right to equal treatment in all of their professional relations and cannot be discriminated against, in particular on the grounds of their religious or philosophical convictions. Moreover, no mention of these convictions may be included in officials’ personnel files. Note also that this requirement not to discriminate figures among the obligations of Community personnel in their relations with the public : the internal rules or "codes of good conduct" of the various institutions emphasise the need to treat people using their services equally, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Directive 95/46/EC of 24 October 1995 on protecting individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data sets out the general principal banning the processing of "sensitive" personal data. Some exceptions are provided for, however, including data processing performed by bodies working "not for profit and with political, philosophical, religious or trade union objectives, provided that the processing relates solely to the members of this body or to persons maintaining regular contact with it linked to its objectives and that the data is not disclosed to third parties without the consent of the persons concerned" (Art. 8 §1d). The Regulation 2016/679 will replace Directive 95/46 as of 25 May 2018 by maintaining similar provisions for religious organizations.

With regard to employment and work (access to employment, working conditions, professional training, membership of professional organisations), Directive 2000/78/EC establishes a ban on any discrimination based on religion or personal convictions. It does, however, provide for Member States to allow "churches and other public or private organisations with an ethos based on religion or personal convictions" to consider, as part of their professional activities, the religion or convictions of a person, when these constitute "a genuine occupational requirement, legitimate and justified in view of the ethics of the organisation" (Art. 4 §2).

Directive 2003/88/EC of 4 November 2003 on aspects of the organisation of working time also defines the length of daily and weekly rest, as well as the length of the working week and night shifts. Article 17 provides for a number of derogations to these norms and only three types of workers may be subject to such exceptions to working hours without it being necessary to organise compensatory rest periods or to provide for collective agreements and these include "workers officiating at ceremonies in churches and religious communities".

Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 aims to define the rules of jurisdiction and to improve the recognition and enforcement of judgements on separation, divorce or marriage annulment, as well as parental responsibility. In these areas, it allows for decisions by one Member State to be recognised in other Member States without having to resort to any further proceedings or checking the jurisdiction of the court of the state of origin. In particular, it takes into consideration, among these decisions, annulments of Catholic marriages by the ecclesiastical courts, as regulated for four countries (Spain, Italy, Malta, Portugal) through international agreements made with the Holy See (Art. 63).

The Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing allows exemptions for slaughtering prescribed by religious rites, aimed at reconciling the requirements of animal welfare with the right to manifest one’s religion.

Directive 2010/13 of 10 March 2010 serves to facilitate the exchange of television programmes between Member States. In Art. 20 §2, it specifically provides that "broadcasts of religious services" cannot under any circumstances be interrupted by advertising or home-shopping. In addition, Member States shall ensure "that audiovisual media services (...) do not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality" (Art. 6).

18 juillet 2017