Proposal for an EU Directive on Agricultural Land

In 2023, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) wrote a proposal for a European directive on agricultural land based on Article 17 – right to land – of UNDROP. European directives are legislative acts that give general objectives to the member countries of the European Union, and the countries must then take measures to make these objectives concrete. With this proposal, ECVC is setting objectives to ensure that the right to land is respected and implemented in Europe. Read the original publication HERE.

On October 26, 2023, ECVC organized a round table to call on the European Union to put agricultural land on its agenda and take into account its proposal for a directive as well as UNDROP, find HERE the press release from the event.

Below is ECVC’s introduction to its proposal for a directive, and the full text of the proposal is available for download.

We present our proposal for a European directive on the governance of agricultural land. To stop land concentration: more farmers in Europe!

We have long demanded the realisation of the right to land as defined in Article 17 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other Rural Workers. Today, this right is threatened: concentration and land grabbing lead to the disappearance of farms, the increase of land prices, the devitalization of rural areas and the industrialization of practices. Land use is at the crossroads of economic, social, ecological and climatic issues in European agriculture.

There is no European framework for land governance, but many European policies have an impact on the price of land, its condition or its distribution, starting with the CAP and the allocation of subsidies according to the number of hectares. This observation is shared by the European institutions themselves: the jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice attests that land is not a commodity like any other, the Parliament recognises the threats it faces and calls for a land policy that is independent of market forces alone.

So, seized by urgency, we publish today a Proposal for a European Directive on Agricultural Land. We have analyzed the state of agricultural land and concrete measures to ensure the realisation of the right to land, and we put forward a comprehensive proposal for a directive.

It is imperative the agricultural population doubles by 2040, and this directive is essential to achieve this goal. It is also a tool to support land reforms at local and national level. It is necessary that the Commission takes up the issue and includes access to land in its work plan.

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