The Bulgarian Industrial Association - Union of the Bulgarian Business, guided by the need to protect the national interest in future amendments to the Agricultural Land Ownership and Use Act, has the following suggestions:

1. To be taken into account the recommendations of the EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development’s report on the state of play of farmland concentration in the EU: how to facilitate the access to land for farmers - 2016/2141 (INI)/30.03.2017;

2. The Bulgarian authorities to seek all the legal grounds cited in the EP report related to the pressure exerted by the European Commission to amend Bulgarian legislation;

3. The Bulgarian authorities to seek political support for the implementation of such land-market regulation instruments that are already successfully used in some Member States in accordance with the provisions of the EU Treaty, such as: state licensing of land sales and leases , a pre-emption right, a landlord's obligation to treat the land, restrictions on the right of purchase by legal persons, an upper limit to the number of hectares that can be redeemed, giving preference to farmers, by other Member States;

4. Until the adoption of Interpretative Communication, the EC is not expected to take action to penalize Bulgaria and other Member States that are subject to legal non-compliance procedures.

Moreover, the European Parliament recommends the imposition of a moratorium on current procedures for assessing compliance with EU law with Member States' legislation on agricultural land trade until a set of criteria is published;

5. Following the publication of the Interpretative Communication, with eligibility criteria for the restrictions on the sale of agricultural land, Member States will be given a period to bring national legislation in line with these criteria and options.

In consideration of the above, the proposed amendment to the Agricultural Land Ownership and Use Act was totally unnecessary. 

BIA’s standpoint on amendments of the Agricultural land ownership and use act
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