Croatian Agricultural Land Must be Offered to State Before Attempted Sale

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, nobody will be able to put Croatian agricultural land up for sale to a private party (or indeed anyone else) if they don’t offer it to the state at the market price first.

Under a new set of rules, the state gets the right of first refusal when it comes to the sale of Croatian agricultural land, and the final proposal of this amendment to the Law went to be voted on by Parliament during a recently held session. The new Law stipulates that the owner of Croatian agricultural land cannot sell that land to another buyer below the price they asked for from the state, even if the competent Ministry rejects his offer, according to a report by Novi list.

The government has made significant changes to the Law to ensure that production is ensured on any available Croatian agricultural land, but it is probably an important motive for the state to be able to get the right of first refusal, although this is not explicitly stated in the government’s proposal. The fact that at the beginning of next year the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land to foreigners or citizens of other European Union (EU) member states is due to expire.

In its explanation of all of the above, the government has stated that the right of first refusal of the state when it comes to Croatian agricultural land is “in the interest of protecting agricultural land as an item of special economic and ecological importance because agricultural land is defined by the Constitution as an item of special economic and ecological importance and [as such] has special protection.”

Just how much these brand new provisions will prevent sales being carried out as they were before, and how much it will prevent sales entirely remains uncertain, because foreigners, and not only those from other EU member states, are already buying agricultural land in Croatia by using the ”loophole” of establishing companies headquartered in Croatia in order to do so.

For more, check out our dedicated politics section.


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