- "Expert commission" on 1997 Agreement with the Holy See
An agreement on financial issues was concluded in 1997 between the social-liberal coalition and the Holy See. As certain elements of the Agreement have been criticized from liberalistic aspects on the one hand, and as the implementation of the Agreement has repeatedly become disputed on the other, the Prime Minister of the present social-liberal government initiated an "expert commission" to review its destiny.
The commission is composed of scientists having not previously dealt with religious affairs, and of lay Catholics generally qualified as liberals. Surprisingly the report presented by the commission in September 2006 was rather favorable to the Agreement : it praised it as being a significant contribution to legal certainty and stability, and as a model for agreements concluded by other denominations. The commission asked the mixed commission, composed of representatives of the government and of the Holy See, to become active in order to review disputed issues.
Following this report, the mixed commission has met again in January 2007 and decision was made to solve a set of disputed issues. The major controversial issue between church and state is probably the funding of church-run schools. Reaching a consensus concerning the method of calculating state funding to church schools is a real necessity.