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Freikirche der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Deutschland KdöR v. Bildungsdirektion für Vorarlberg, Case C-372/21, CJEU (Third Section), 2 February 2023

Type Judgment
Case number C-372/21


Grants reserved for confessional schools managed by Churches and associations recognized as legal entities within a Member State other than that of the applicant. Non-violation of art. 49 TFEU, read in conjunction with art. 17 TFEU.

Normative references

Art. 17 TFEU
Art. 49 TFEU


1. Article 17 TFEU expresses the neutrality of the European Union towards the organisation by the Member States of their relations with churches and religious associations and communities. That provision cannot be relied on in order to exclude from the scope of EU law altogether the activity of churches or religious associations and communities where that activity consists in the provision of services for remuneration in a given market.

2. Article 17 TFEU must be interpreted as not having the effect of excluding from the scope of EU law a situation in which a church or religious association or community, which has the status of a legal person governed by public law in one Member State and which recognises and supports a private school in another Member State as a denominational school, applies for a subsidy for that school which is reserved for churches and religious associations or communities recognised under the law of that other Member State.

3. Article 49 TFEU, read in conjunction with Article 17 of that treaty, must be interpreted as not precluding
national legislation which makes the grant of public subsidies to private schools recognised as denominational schools conditional upon the church or religious society which submits the application for a subsidy for such a school being recognised under the law of the Member State concerned, including where that church or religious society is recognised under the law of its Member State of origin.