EU tells Lithuania to ease rules on land sales to foreigners, threatens lawsuit

The EU’s executive body on Thursday issued a so-called reasoned opinion, requesting that Lithuania amend the legislation on the acquisition of agricultural land that in May 2014 tightened the sale of land to foreigners.

The Commission said in a press release that it may decide to refer Lithuania to the EU Court of Justice if the country fails to bring its legislation into line with EU law within two months.

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“These new national rules contain several provisions which the Commission considers to be a restriction to the free movement of capital and freedom of establishment. This may in turn discourage cross-border investment,” it said.

The Commission started the infringement procedure against Lithuania in March 2015 by sending a so-called letter of formal notice.

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Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia and Slovakia were also requested on Thursday to amend their national legislation on the acquisition of agricultural land.

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