Programme d'action conjointe Bertinoro III
Le Service des régimes fonciers de la FAO, en collaboration avec le Ministère italien des affaires étrangères, a organisé, dans le cadre de Bertinoro III, l'École internationale sur les régimes fonciers. Les séminaires techniques Bertinoro constituent un effort de collaboration permanent destiné à promouvoir le développement des systèmes de tenure et les réformes de l'administration foncière des pays en transition. Pour Bertinoro III, l'accent a été placé sur les pays de l'Europe du Sud-Est. Le séminaire a eu lieu à Cervia (Italie), du 3 au 15 septembre 1999 dans le cadre de la cinquième université d'été sur la «Transition postcommuniste et les processus d'intégration européenne», organisé par l'Université de Bologne et le Réseau international l'Europe et les Balkans.
L'objectif de ce séminaire était d'identifier les innovations et les axes de développement institutionnels nécessaires pour garantir la jouissance pacifique des biens fonciers dans les pays constituant la sous-région de l'Europe du Sud-Est et de définir le rôle que les experts en régime foncier des secteurs privés et des secteurs publics seront appelés à jouer. L'éventail des thèmes abordés par les conférenciers a permis de dégager un panorama intéressant des approches utilisées par les pays de l'Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE) pour aborder ce problème. Ce rapport représente une tentative de la part des étudiants pour baliser un certain nombre de pistes qu'ils jugent prometteuses.
Le séminaire a mis particulièrement l'accent sur l'amélioration des dimensions juridiques et administratives des régimes de faire-valoir et des marchés fonciers, sur la participation du secteur privé à l'administration foncière et sur l'usage approprié des progrès récents de la technologie de la gestion des données dans les pays d'Europe du Sud-Est.
Programa de acción conjunta Bertinoro III
El Servicio de Tenencia de la Tierra de la FAO, en colaboración con el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Italia, organizó un Seminario internacional sobre tenencia de tierras como parte de Bertinoro III. La serie de seminarios técnicos de Bertinoro es el resultado de una colaboración constante para promover la reforma de la tenencia de tierras y la administración territorial en los países en transición. En Bertinoro III, la atención se centró en los países de Europa sudoriental. El seminario tuvo lugar en Cervia, Italia, del 3 al 15 de septiembre de 1999, en el marco de la quinta escuela de verano sobre «Transición postcomunista y procesos de integración europea», organizada por la Universidad de Boloña y la Red internacional Europa y los Balcanes.
El objetivo del seminario fue determinar las innovaciones institucionales y los cambios necesarios para garantizar el disfrute pacífico de la propiedad en los países que constituyen la subregión de Europa sudoriental y las funciones que habían de desempeñar en ella los expertos en tenencia de tierras de los sectores público y privado. La variedad de los temas tratados por los conferenciantes proporcionó un interesante panorama del modo en que los países de la Organización de Cooperación y Desarrollo Económicos (OCDE) estaban abordando el problema. Este informe representa un intento por parte de los conferenciantes de determinar las vías que en su opinión habían de seguirse.
En el seminario se hizo especial hincapié en la mejora de los aspectos jurídicos y administrativos de la tenencia y los mercados de tierras, la participación del sector privado en la administración territorial y el uso apropiado de las últimas novedades en tecnología de la gestión de datos en los países de Europa sudoriental.
J. Riddell, C. Kühn, L. Turchi and P. Potenza
J. Riddell is the Chief of FAO's Land Tenure Service;
Christiane Kühn is the Coordinator of Bertinoro III;
L. Turchi and P. Potenza are with ITALECO, S.p.A. in Rome.
The Land Tenure Service of FAO, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized an International Land Tenure School as part of Bertinoro III. The Bertinoro series of technical seminars is a continuing collaboration aimed at promoting the development of land tenure and land administration reform in countries in transition. For Bertinoro III the focus is on Southeast European countries. The school took place in Cervia, Italy, from 3 to 15 September 1999 as part of the Fifth Summer School on Post-Communist Transition and European Integration Processes organized by the University of Bologna and the Europe and the Balkans International Network.
The objective of the school was to identify the institutional innovations and development needed to ensure the peaceful enjoyment of property in the countries making up the Southeast Europe subregion and the roles that private and public sector land tenure experts were to play. Each of the countries represented by the students has undergone, or is currently engaged in, territorial disputes within its national boundaries. Therefore, for each of these countries, it is vital to find land tenure institutions that support modern land use and administration practices that attract both national and international investment. The range of topics covered by the lecturers provided a stimulating view of how countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were addressing the problem. All agreed that there are no easy or simple answers, and this report is an attempt by the students to identify promising directions to be pursued.
The school put special emphasis on the improvement of legal and administrative issues in land tenure and land markets, the involvement of the private sector in land administration and the appropriate use of recent developments in data management technology in Southeast European countries. The issues described in the paper are proposals from the participants in the school on how land administration systems in these countries could be improved.
The purpose of this report is to provide a summary record of the International Land Tenure School, its deliberations and the conclusions it reached. It also advises FAO and partner organizations and agencies on emerging issues to be brought to the attention of the Bertinoro III seminar. The report is the product of the students at the school as part of the Fifth Summer School on Post-Communist Transition and European Integration Processes. Normally the classes at Bertinoro seminars prepare individual papers. In this case, however, it was decided to take advantage of the professional standing of the participants of the International Land Tenure School by developing a set of conclusions in open discussion. Thus, instead of the normal student papers, the class produced a joint project paper, which is presented in this article.
FAO, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, organized the International Land Tenure School as part of Bertinoro III. The Bertinoro series of technical seminars is a continuing collaboration that aims to promote the development of land tenure and land administration reform in countries in transition. For the ongoing Bertinoro III the focus is on Southeast European countries.
The International Land Tenure School took place in Cervia, Italy, from 3 to 15 September 1999 as part of the Fifth Summer School on Post-Communist Transition and European Integration Processes organized by the University of Bologna and the Europe and the Balkans International Network. The participants and lecturers at the school came from Albania, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.
The school received technical and organizational support from ITALECO S.p.A. (IRI Group) of Italy. Other contributors were EURIMAGE, the Associazione Bancaria Italiana, the University of Bologna, the Ministry of Finance and the Province of Bologna, all from Italy; the Federal Directorate for Cadastral Surveying, Switzerland; the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ); the University of New Brunswick, Canada; Bundesanstalt für Agrarwirtschaft, Vienna, Austria; Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria Ltd and John Fisher Assets Consulting, both from Australia; the University of Budapest, Hungary; the University of St Petersburg and the State Land Committee, both from the Russian Federation; the Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium; and the Embassy of Ukraine and General Directorate of Rural Services, both from Turkey.
The objective of the school was to identify the institutional innovations and developments needed to ensure the peaceful enjoyment of property in countries within the Southeast Europe subregion, and to define the roles that land tenure experts from both the private and the public sectors were to play. Each of the countries represented by the students has undergone, or is currently engaged in, territorial disputes within its national boundaries. For each of these countries it is therefore vital to find land tenure institutions that support modern land use, and administration practices that attract both national and international investment. The range of topics covered by the lecturers provided a stimulating view of how countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were addressing the problem. All would agree that there are no easy answers, and this report is an attempt by the students to identify what they see as promising directions to be pursued.
The final session of the summer school, opened by Prof. Bianchini, Central Coordinator of the Europe and the Balkans International Network, brought together the participants of the International Land Tenure School and the students attending courses at the University of Bologna on environmental and economic development in Balkan countries. Mr J. Riddell, Chief of FAO's Land Tenure Service, transmitted the compliments of Dr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO, for this important endeavour to promote cooperation between FAO and Southeast European countries. The Italian Minister of Foreign Trade, Mr Piero Fassino, encouraged an open discussion on the development of the European Union (EU) and the integration of Southeast European countries. Mr Gianfranco Cicognani, Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mr Vittorio Prodi of the Province of Bologna, Prof. Pier Ugo Calzolari of the University of Bologna and Prof. Martellini Landau of Network-Centro Volta, Italy, emphasized the importance of European and international cooperation in view of the enlargement of the EU. The representatives of ITALECO S.p.A. (IRI Group), Mr Alfonso Silvestre and Mr Domenico Torlucci, and the Ambassador of Ukraine, Mr Volodymyr Yevtukh, participated in the final session.
FAO and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs appreciated the technical and scientific support of professors Stefano Bianchini, Andrea Segrè and Luigi Bruzzi, from the University of Bologna, as well as Dr De Santis from the Ministry of Finance, in organizing and holding the International Land Tenure School.
The school put particular emphasis on the improvement of legal and administrative issues in land tenure and land markets, the involvement of the private sector in land administration and the appropriate application of recent developments in data management technology within Southeast European countries. The issues described in this article are proposals from the school's participants on how land administration systems in these countries could be improved.
Efficient land administration systems are based on a clear legal framework. Since many Southeast European countries are experiencing uncertainties in defining and asserting legal rights in land, assets and other property, the creation of a coordinating body (CB) in each country can be helpful in establishing an efficient land administration system, particularly in countries where several ministries are directly involved in such issues. A CB brings together the various ministries, national agencies and organizations involved, to prepare a strategic plan for the development of an efficient land administration system. Several of the former Soviet republics have initiated an interagency conciliation procedure for reviewing proposed programmes or legislation. The procedure makes use of a round table at the presidential level which reviews proposals thoroughly before agreeing on a plan of action to be signed as a presidential decree. Participants at the school emphasized that the internal structures of a CB or presidential-level round table must be supported by a business plan that is both transparent and goal-oriented. The time limit on a CB's mandate is conditioned by the unique problems of the specific country concerned and can be expected to be longer in large countries than in small ones. Furthermore, participants thought that a CB can only be effective if it delegates successfully, by transferring property rights to a range of decentralized bodies (regional offices and municipalities). It must avoid becoming another bureaucratic structure.
In order to bring into being a new and more efficient administrative structure, reliable data sources are essential for all levels, i.e. for the CB as well as other units. The exact data that are collected for a particular country's information about property will only be effective if they take the population's concerns into consideration. Modern land tenure administration institutions must reflect society's cultural values concerning property if people are to view such institutions as valid. Participants repeatedly underlined the importance of effective service provision to the local administrative level and good management capacities on the part of policy-makers (CBs, ministries, agencies, etc.). They also felt that it was necessary to involve private contractors who could assume such tasks as data collection and updating. In order to ensure high standards, professional organizations should be encouraged, or established, to provide a code of conduct for licensed surveyors, to control the methods and establish the quality standards of private contractors.
In the long term, the main objective is to transform the decentralized units into service providers that carry out the work in a quick and efficient manner. A clear legal framework for property transactions attracts cross-border investments which are the basis for new employment opportunities and economic development in the target countries.
The following is a short checklist of features and actions that the legal framework should include:
On the basis of their own professional experience, school participants concluded that the construction of a clear and transparent market in land is one of the basic conditions for a country's general economic development. A land market is also essential if the necessary infrastructure (communication, transportation and services) is to emerge, because it encourages and supports investments and, at the same time, creates much-needed employment opportunities.
An open market in land promotes the development of different kinds of settlements. Urban areas are the main centres of food consumption, while peri-rural areas are considered to be the location of food production. Peri-urban areas respond to a different kind of demand, which focuses mainly on recreational purposes. In Southeast European countries the development of markets, in general, and housing markets, in particular, does not necessarily proceed alongside institutional development.
As emphasized in the previous paragraph, the institutional development of cadastres and registries is of particular importance as a way of resolving uncertainties and questions related to the restitution and subsequent development of land. During the school, discussions returned to the inadequacy of legislation alone in defining the legal framework and institutional basis for effective transactions. Land transactions and the supporting institutions also need a professional mentality (a pattern of expected behaviour) that land users can learn to depend on for fair and accurate service.
A market in land stimulates the growth of conveyancing industries. Professional businesses such as estate agencies, land agents, notaries and private survey companies are only some of the diverse new employment opportunities that are created in urban and rural areas by good land tenure administration institutions. Professional standards play a very important role.
At present, mortgage markets in Southeast Europe are still not satisfying demand and need to be improved, as do credit and related financial institutions. Participants noted that it is unrealistic to expect the necessary development of financial services to be brought about entirely by the private sector.
In analysing the role of institutional development, in both administration and financial services provision, the school participants noted that rural land markets are different from urban land markets in many ways. Currently, participants noted, urban land markets are characterized by buying and selling, whereas in rural areas they are dominated by leasing arrangements for agricultural purposes. Rural land is evaluated in a variety of ways, reflecting family history, and owners are often not willing to sell their property. In addition, owners are waiting for the "real value" of their land to emerge from the competition among economic agriculture and rural enterprise developments. There is therefore a need for rapid development of the capacity to define clear and transparent principles (rules), at the local level, for land valuation and market-oriented evaluation. In connection with this, a map that specifies indicative prices for land can help people to see new possibilities for using their land (often newly restituted) effectively, and would also be useful for tax purposes. Modern property taxes are used increasingly to support the local administration budget and local initiatives.
Restitution of property rights is a technical, political and legal problem that is characteristic of countries in transition from social property to liberal governance principles. Because restitution must be handled on a case-by-case basis, it is strongly influenced by family and emotional attachment to property. In addition, historic inheritance practices have resulted in many claimants of land restitution and, even where land has never been socialized, landholdings are usually fragmented and small. This explains the small size of parcels entered into the cadastres in Southeast European countries.
It is important to focus on farmland rationalization and consolidation. An improved leasing market should lead to consolidation, which revitalizes agricultural land values. Land consolidation is not restricted to land distribution, but embraces many other aspects leading to land development in the broadest sense (development of economic activities such as commerce, services for the rural population, etc.). It was concluded that private sector survey companies should also play a major role.1
A short checklist of features of land markets would include:
Historically, the State has played the dominant role in land tenure administration in Southeast Europe. As the subregion undergoes significant changes it had been assumed that government agencies would be responsible for the transition from social property to private and liberal property systems. However, the sheer quantity of work to be done in transforming the property systems to those of industrialized nations, more or less immediately, far exceeded the capacity of any of the governments concerned. Participants at the school noted that it is becoming increasingly clear that, if land tenure services are to be delivered to citizens, the private sector will have to play a greater role. The first three areas where this is already happening are surveying, data collection and conveyancing. In general, in Southeast European countries surveying and data collection are historically in public hands. In order to create a clear and accessible land market, quality-control surveying and quality-control data collection should increasingly be carried out by the private sector. The basic condition for such a step is free market competition, which needs to be coordinated and supervised in its initial stages by the CB, within the framework of a business plan. This approach can ensure a balance between public and private sector involvement. Participants concluded that a clear legal framework and free access to information are absolutely necessary.
Quality control is another important area. The first registration could be delegated to private contractors, who would then have to establish their professional credentials through, for example, a professional association. Such associations would provide constant and efficient quality control of private and public professionals.
A general standard for technical equipment can also guarantee high quality results. Large projects usually remain in public hands while smaller ones can be carried out by private contractors. From an economic point of view, private contractors are more flexible in purchasing and using new software.
Data exchange according to international standards helps to clarify the land market situation of a country and, consequently, attracts the attention of national and foreign investments.
The transfer of tasks from public to private actors should be carried out with regard to recommendations. Private actors (real estate agents, etc.) can process information about property for buying and selling purposes and the private sector can be involved in facilitating procedures (notaries, etc.), but the final management of transactions remains in public hands. This underlines the need to implement the new legal framework so that governments are able to deliver the services demanded by their publics. By turning time-consuming and technologically expensive tasks over to private sector contractors, governments can focus better on their main tasks of quality assurance and guarantee of fair and transparent land tenure procedures.
A short checklist of features to be considered would include:
Participants at the school included experts with wide experience of the latest technological solutions to geomatic and spatial data infrastructure acquisition and manipulation. It was observed that the private sector tended to be efficient at allocating resources to new technology. The school therefore concluded that government agencies would increasingly take on quality advisement functions rather than supplying or holding rapidly developing tools.
A short technology checklist would include:
The International Land Tenure School provided an important opportunity to promote and strengthen relationships among experts. Participants appreciated the technical and scientific support of FAO, the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the University of Bologna as host organization. An understanding of the worldwide development of land tenure is essential for the successful analysis and evaluation of opportunities and constraints in land tenure reform in Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs).
Participants paid particular attention to the introduction of financial programmes promoted by national and international bodies such as the United Nations (UN), the EU, the World Bank and the Italian Government. They focused on the need for better coordination of international efforts in order to achieve the complete and wide support of the public and private organizations in CEECs.
International representatives of financing organizations were invited to the next international seminars at Bertinoro (which took place from 8 to 13 November 1999) with the objectives of sharing information, understanding and identifying common goals and focusing on the role of international cooperation and partnership to achieve good, democratic land tenure institutions and administration in all countries. The participants concluded by expressing their strong interest in continuing the International Land Tenure School in the future. The special role of UN technical agencies, such as FAO, which gather together a wide range of international resources, makes them suitable as the organizers of such training experiences.
1 Urban and peri-urban smallholdings often have mainly recreational purposes and may also contribute to good environmental use as well as being an important supply of garden food in the family diet.