EU guidelines for sales farmland

EU Member States have the right to restrict sales of farmland to preserve agricultural communities and promote sustainable agriculture.

The European Commission has issued guidance to help Member States protect agricultural land from threats such as excessive price speculation and ownership concentration.  But in doing so they must comply with EU law, in particular rules on free movement of capital. In 2015, the Commission launched infringement procedures against Member States that discriminate against investors from other EU countries and create disproportionate restrictions on cross-border investment. In today’s Communication, the Commission provides indications to Member States on what they can do to regulate the sale of farmland, based on case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Today’s Communication responds to a call in March by the European Parliament, which asked the Commission to set a clear and comprehensive set of criteria for land market regulations to ensure a level playing field in compliance with EU law.

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