The interrelations of land ownership, soil protection and privileges of capital in the aspect of land take | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
December 2020
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The novelty of this study lies in the analyses of legislation concerning land use policies by examining the specific boundary between land ownership and land take. The basic motive was that the European Commission (EC) withdrew the Soil Framework Directive (SFD) in 2014 following the objections of certain Member States (MS) who countered that as most lands are privately owned, they should not fall under the remit of public governance. Since the withdrawal of the SFD land take is an issue receiving more attention. The legal content of ownership rights has been subjected to constant debate in the context of land-use policies and planning practices, which raises the questions of who decides how the land can be used and whether administrative authorities give priority to non-agricultural uses. Our study seeks to explore these issues through the lens of property law by comparing different legislations on access to land on three levels of policy implementation: the EU, the national, and the local levels. MS legislations are highlighted through the example of Hungary in two aspects: (1) regulation regarding Access to Land and Land Ownership Rights (ALOR), and (2) legislation and results of the LANDSUPPORT decision support system concerning Land Take Changes (LTC). We designed figures to demonstrate how policymakers can use the new LANDSUPPORT platform to show the gaps and inconsistencies among the above aspects. We found that the legislative regulations concerning private land use to achieve soil protection objectives remain the weakest link in the environmental protection legislation of the EU. Anxieties concerning built-in legal guarantees on each of the studied levels actualise our research. Currently, global land management is not on the political table although common European legislation might be able to preserve land for agricultural use.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Stankovics, Petra
Montanarella, Luca
Kassai, Piroska
Tóth, Gergely
Tóth, Zoltán


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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