The Vatican Is Conceding Its Financial Autonomy
The world’s smallest state has made compliance with U.S. and European regulators a priority. Financial autonomy for small states and organizations now requires more than just legitimacy and prestige.
With a population of just a few hundred people, the Vatican City is the smallest state in the world by both population and land area. Located within the Italian capital city of Rome, the Vatican is legally under the sovereign authority of the Holy See, the highest ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to leading the Catholic Church, the Pope rules the Vatican as an absolute monarch. Despite its tiny population and lack of a productive economy, large amounts of money move through the Vatican. Exact figures have been mostly a matter of speculation because of the Vatican’s long-standing lack of financial transparency. But in the last ten years, the Vatican has begun publishing financial figures and reports for the first time, as well as opening itself to compliance with financial regulators and law enforcement agencies from both the United States and European Union.