Bulgaria Allows Foreigners to Buy Land after EU Launched Proceeding

EU Launches Proceeding on Agricultural Land Ownership Laws in Bulgaria

Bulgaria May Scrap Barriers on Foreigners Buying Land Under EU pressure – and to avoid heavy fines – the Bulgarian government is moving to remove barriers against the acquisition of agricultural land by foreign citizens. The European Commission took a decision Thursday on demanding a clarification on thelaws regarding the acquisition of agricultural lands passed in Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithunia and Slovakia.

As announced by the commisison’s press office, several of the directives in the laws can be considered as hindrances to the free movement of capital within the borders of the EU. All restrictions to agricultural land ownership need to be substantiated and justified so that no doubt is left on possible discrimination against foreign investors.

The commission also noted that all countries have the righ to determine their own laws, but they also need to comply with the union’s anti-discrimination policies. Some of the dubious requirements listed in the Bulgarian legislation involve requirement for residence in the country, restrictions regarding people with no professional qualification, as well as a requirement for the preliminary approval of sales contracts.

The EU Commission’s official announcement letter marks the start of the proceeding, giving countries a two-month deadline to provide information on the case. The last amendment to the Bulgarian property law states that there will be BGN 100 per decar sanctions on land ownership upon Bulgarians with properties outside of the EU, Investor.bg reminded.

Currnetly: Foreigners or foreign legal persons may acquire ownership of a land under the terms of an international treaty ratified by the order of Art. 22, Par. 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, promulgated and enforced, and foreigners – also by legal inheritance.