EC to review rental of state-owned farmland in Hungary

EU

The European Commission has launched a review of the manner in which rental contracts for state-owned farmland are awarded in Hungary to assess whether these processes are in compliance with European Union law, online daily Napi Gazdaság reported on Saturday.

 According to the daily, sources in Brussels said that the probe is still in the early stages. The EC is investigating the matter and a formal infringement procedure has not yet been confirmed, the daily noted. EC sources also said they had received complaints alleging the tenders are in violation of the rights of parties who have signed preliminary rental agreements for the land.

The EC will also assess whether the tenders discriminate against farmers from other European Union member states, they added. Hungaryʼs Agriculture Ministry said it had not yet received any official notification from Brussels regarding the matter.

The Hungarian government announced its intention two years ago to rent approximately 200,000 hectares of state-owned land to small, family-owned farms. The aim of the initiative was to increase the proportion of family farms from 50% to 80%.

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