Zubrytskyi O. V. Legal regulation of agricultural land turnover: experience of Germany and France
The complexity of the decision to launch a full-fledged agricultural land market encourages researchers to turn to foreign experience of legal regulation of agricultural land turnover. Taking into account a desire of the state of Ukraine to keep the moratorium and control over one of the most attractive sectors of the Ukrainian economy, it is expedient to consider foreign models of agricultural land turnover in which the state through the relevant organizations has an influence on the possibility of agreeing or prohibiting from concluding sale-purchase or lease of agricultural land contract on the appropriate conditions.
The article aims to considers the mechanism of legal regulation of agricultural land turnover in Germany and France. It also focuses on authority of the regulators on the agricultural land market – BVVG in Germany and SAFER in France with respect to Ukrainian circumstances.
The experience of legal regulation of the turnover of agricultural land in Germany shows that the legislation does not impose restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural land in the ownership or lease by foreign natural persons or legal entities. In this case, in the case of acquisition of land above the size established in each federal land, or in cases of lease, it is necessary to obtain permission of the competent authority, which by its decision in the form of permission directly affects the conclusion of the transaction. The state regulation of the market is carried out through the Agency for the Management and Sale of Land – BVVG, which previously conducted privatization and restitution of agricultural land in East Germany and now disposes of state-owned land as well as controls the conclusion of agreements on the market in compliance with the requirements of the legislation. State interference in the circulation of agricultural land ensures the acquisition and rational use of land by appropriate entities and competitive conditions, which may be useful for Ukraine at the initial stage of establishing a land market in Ukraine.
The turnover of agricultural land in France is limited, since SAFER has broad powers to intervene in agreements between market participants, negotiate prices with them, enjoy preferential right to purchase land plots and issue permits for contracts worth more than €38 million. This allows the state through SAFER to distribute and redistribute agricultural land in the market in each region in order to support its own young farms. SAFER’s impact on lease relations is less significant, but the state has set a minimum term for lease, indicating the desire to ensure long-term land use by one farmer. Despite the substantive state intervention in land market regulation, France is considered one of the largest exporters of agricultural products in the world, and the market model is aimed not at attracting foreign investment, but in defense of national farms and commodity producers.
In author’s opinion, the model of agricultural land turnover in Germany is more acceptable for Ukraine, because the role of the state in it is reduced to the realization of state-owned land, and market participants are almost not limited to the possibility of acquiring agricultural land if the buyers meet the criteria established by laws of federal lands. At the same time, the creation in Ukraine the analogue of SAFER, which will actually distribute land among market participants, creates the risk of corrupting this body, monopolizing the situation of large agricultural holdings and worsening the situation of the peasants, who in fact may be forced to sell to the newly established body land at lower than market price.
Key words: agricultural land turnover, transfer of rights, land lease, restrictions on land turnover, land market.