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Serbia envisages that as of 2017 the citizens and companies from the European countries will be able to buy land in Serbia without any conditions. Serbia does not have much maneuvering space during the forthcoming negotiations with the EU to change that section of the Agreement, but the trade could be legally limited, and stimulating measures could help the domestic farmers to buy that land first, professor Miladin Sevarlic from the Faculty of Agriculture told the International Radio Serbia. He was interviewed by Biljana Blanusa.
When signing the SAA the Serbian authorities made a mistake by not setting any stipulations on the foreign citizens when buying land in Serbia, underlines professor Sevarlic. Besides that, no time frame for adaptation was asked for, as it was done by other countries that became EU members. At the same time, one could say that the EU’s move was incorrect toward Serbia, since such a demand had not been put before any other state when joining the Union, Sevarlic assessed. He has pointed to the example of the states that have recently become the members, and they have postponed the process of land sales for years. Croatia was granted a seven-year moratorium on the sale of the land to buyers from the EU, while for the state owned land the ban is permanent. Hungary was also granted the moratorium, first at seven years, and then another four. IN the meantime, the state has changed the Constitutions so that the sales of the plowing land to foreigners is completely forbidden. It has not been noted that any country was asked to approve the selling of the land before joining the EU, as it is the case with Serbia.
Sevarlic believes there is not much room for attempt to change that part of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, although the Serbian Government has initiated action to that end. Namely, he expressed fear that it would not be welcomed by the officials in Brussels, because it would mean admitting that the EU had made a mistake. Instead, the work on the legislation changes is necessary in that domain. According to our collocutor, the law should define the conditions under which the foreign citizens can purchase land in Serbia. He points to the example of Slovenia, which did not insist on banning the sales to the buyers from the EU, but before being admitted to the Union, the amendments to the laws have set five conditions for that kind of trade. Some of the conditions are that the buyer must be a resident of Slovenia for five years before the purchase, the advantage is offered to the neighboring owners, for the sake of enlarging the properties, as well as to young married couples. The experiences from other countries indicate that the buyers from the EU have better purchasing power and can buy larger pieces of land than the local farmers.
Sevarlic says there are initiatives from the agrarian associations, urging the state to assist local farmers in buying additional land. In the region of Subotica, in the north of Serbia, the farmers have joined and bought 1,700 hectares of the arable land by taking mortgage on their houses and properties. The census from 2012 also shows that things are changing, as significant shifts have been noted in the structure of family homesteads. So, there are 18 thousand homesteads that own 20 thousand hectares, and seven own between 1,200 and 2,500 hectares each, which is the surface larger than the properties of farmers in the EU. If Serbia wants to develop the agriculture, it is then very important to set legislation for that sector, thus introducing guidelines for the improvement of this strategically important area, professor Miladin Sevarlic has concluded in his interview for our Radio. Radio Srbija
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Povezane vesti na srpskom
Συναφείς Ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά