- (Photo: Lis Lak Risager)
Subsidies for farmers are always capitalized as higher prices for the farms. Every subsidy will increase the price and the need for new subsidies for those who bought the farm for the higher price. The differences in farm prices were particularly high between old member states and newcomers.
Farmland in the Netherlands was 30 times more expensive than in Poland. Dutch farmers therefore began buying up cheap farmland in Poland already before Poland became a member of the EU in 2004.
The Polish agreement with the EU contains a transition period of 3 to 12 years during which non-Polish EU citizens cannot purchase Polish farmland. However, in practice transitional provisions do not apply to individual farmers who lease and buy the land.
In the Czech "Sudetenland", farmland prices were 10 times lower than on the German side of the border. The Czechs therefore had a transition period of seven years or, if a safeguard clause was invoked, 10 years, before there can be free movement of capital in land and freedom of establishment for non-Czech farmers on Czech land.
See also Derogations for information on the various transition periods.