UDC 336.24.07:339.19(4-672EU)
Biblid: 1451-3188, 20 (2021)
Vol. 20, No 76, pp. 119-144
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18485/iipe_ez.2021.20.76.8

Оriginal article
Received: 10 Jun 2021
Accepted: 02 Nov 2021


PAVIĆEVIĆ Vanja (Vanja Pavićević, istraživač-saradnik, Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd), vanja.pavicevic@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs
VUČIĆ Mihajlo (Mihajlo Vučić, viši naučni saradnik, Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu, Beograd), mihajlo@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

Freedom of movement of goods in the European Union represents the key freedom necessary for the development of customs unions and the single market. With its broad interpretation of quantitative restrictions and measures of equivalent effect, the delineation of direct and indirect discrimination in the EU market, the Court of Justice of the EU has played an important role in the protection of the free movement of goods. Accordingly, to avoid possible abuses, any kind of exception must be interpreted narrowly. Exceptions to the free movement of goods mainly relate to reasons of public morality, safety, protection of health and life of people, animals, plants, but they can also refer to the protection of cultural objects of the state which are classified as “national treasure”. In the latter, the Court refrained from providing some general guidelines in interpreting Article 36, which states an exception in the form of a national treasure having artistic, historical or archaeological value. Therefore, the subject of this paper is to find a delicate balance between the proclaimed freedom of movement of goods in the EU and the specific protection of cultural objects. First of all, the existing legal framework for the return of cultural goods to the EU will be analyzed. Next, we will explore the connection of the mechanisms for the return of cultural goods with the concept of a national treasure in light of Article 36 TFEU. Finally, the concept of “national treasure” as an exception from the freedom of movement of goods will be critically examined. Hence, the role of European legislation in the development of a wider network for the protection of cultural objects will be presented.

Keywords: Directive 2014/60/EU, return of cultural objects, national treasure, free movement of goods, UNIDROIT 1995