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2003-05-06 - Administrative Court of appeal of Nancy, Commune de Montaulin, n. 99NC01589

State support · France · Place of worship · Public funding

A city cannot support the electricity expenses required by worship

Key facts of the case - The applicant, a taxpayer from the city of Montaulin had claimed the annulment of the city council decision by which it was decided that the city would take charge of all the expenses of electricity necessary for worship. The administrative Court of Châlons-en-Champagne had only partially annulled the city council decision and the applicant appealed.

Main reasoning of the court - According to the administrative Court of appeal of Nancy, this city council decision has to be totally annulled. It results from the combination of various provisions of the December 9th, 1905 Act related to the separation between Church and State (article 2: prohibition of public funding to religions; article 19: possibility to fund the maintenance and preservation expenses) that the public authorities can incur only the expenses necessary to the maintenance and the preservation of the places of worship they own. Now, by taking charge of all the electricity expenses, the city of Montaulin implicitly but necessarily funded the part of the expenses necessary to the worship. Accordingly the city council decision is in breach of the 1905 Act and must be annulled.