Hungary

 

Act XCIII of 1995 on the restoration of the level of protection of protected natural areas [1]

In order to fully ensure the constitutional basic right to the environment, and to fulfil the constitutional obligations of the State as well as to restore the protection of nature to its original level ensured by law, the National Assembly promulgates herein the following Act:

 

Article 1

(1) The scope of this Act includes with the exceptions specified in paragraph (2) below all protected and strictly protected natural areas as well as natural areas planned for protection (hereinafter, jointly: protected natural areas) which, being part of the areas under the common use of agricultural co-operatives,

a) have been set apart by law in land funds for distributing land to part-landowners, granting land to members and employees, as well as for being allotted in compensation auctions; or

b) have not been designated to the land funds defined in point a) above because of their protected status.

(2) The scope of this Act fails to include the protected natural areas under paragraph (1) point a) above which were legally available for designation into the land funds even without the application of the amendment and completion provisions included in Article 4 of Act L of 1992 on the entry into force of Act I of 1992 on Co-operative Societies and on the amendment of Act II of 1992 on Transition Rules, if such designation was made according to the guiding rules.

 

Article 2

(1) Designation of lands subject to this Act and not privatised yet [as under Article 1 paragraph (1) point a)] to the land funds shall be terminated upon this Act, with the exceptions specified in Article 3.

(2) When a procedure for the separation and designation (hereinafter: designation) of land funds is in process, the designation shall be made with disregard to the lands referred to in paragraph (1) above.

(3) If the designation is over, the person obliged to designation shall not be required to designate new lands or repeat the designation in order to restore the lands referred to in paragraph (1). However, if the affected lands are expropriated, the compensation received shall be apportioned among the part-landowners, members and employees concerned in the same proportion as they would have been entitled by law to the ownership of the land if it had not been protected.

 

Article 3

Lands within the scope of this Act and designated to the land funds serving the distribution of lands to part-landowners and the granting of land to members and employees, but not necessarily to be expropriated from private ownership [Article 4, paragraphs (2) and (3)], may pass to private ownership following the entry into force of this Act if the legal conditions for dispensing with the expropriation exist, and the acquirer of the land agrees in a written declaration with the restrictions set forth by the local Nature Conservation or National Park Directorate (hereinafter: Directorate) and undertakes a written commitment for complying with the requirements of the authorities.

 

Article 4

(1) Lands included in the scope of this Act and already passed to private ownership according to the law with the exceptions defined in paragraphs (2) and (3) shall be expropriated by and to the State within 6 years from the entry into force of this Act according to the relevant laws and shall be transferred to the administration of the Directorate. The Directorate shall be responsible for initiating (applying for) such expropriation.

(2) The application for expropriation may be dispensed with upon the consent of the Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Policy in the case of woods consisting of non-indigenous trees, artificial forest plantations or degraded forests, as well as arable lands, gardens, vineyards and orchards that do not provide habitat to any strictly protected plant or animal species, and lands with a lower natural value due to their location (e.g. woods wedged between arable lands, peripheral and heavily disturbed lands). In such lands, the Directorate may impose more severe restrictions than the conservation rules otherwise relevant there, in order to prevent any damage to nature.

(3) The expropriation may also be dispensed with if by the date of commencement of expropriation, the protection of the land concerned has ceased or the need for protection has declined so much that the expropriation cannot be justified.

(4) If the restrictions ensuring the level of protection under this Act prevent or significantly hamper the proper use of the affected land, the Directorate shall at the same time as imposing the relevant restrictions determine a compensation payable to the owner in proportion to and for the duration of the restrictions. In this case the owner may, within the term set forth for expropriation by law, apply for the expropriation of the land. In the event of such applications the provisions of paragraph (1) shall apply.

 

Article 5

(1) For lands defined in Article 1 paragraph (1) point b) and Article 2 paragraph (1) above with the deviations set forth in paragraph (2) below and the exceptions defined in Article 4 paragraph (2) above the provisions of Article 4 shall apply.

(2) The expropriation shall be carried out prior to the execution of the provisions set forth in Article 4 paragraph (1) above and in any event not later than within 5 years from the entry into force of this Act.

 

Article 6

(1) The financial coverage for the expropriation required under Articles 4 and 5 shall be provided by the laws on the annual central budget.

(2) Until the initiation of the expropriation procedure, the Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Policy shall make arrangements through the Directorates for temporary measures (more intensive control, implementation of restrictions) necessary for preventing any damage to nature.

 

Article 7

For the purposes of this Act

a) lands passed to private ownership shall include lands that any beneficiary of the compensation has acquired on an auction in line with the relevant laws, or lands handed over as private property to any part-landowner by resolution of the land assignment committee, or where this committee has identified the location of the part land-ownership, regardless of whether the ownership has been registered by the land registry or not;

b) lands planned for protection shall include lands that qualify as such under Article 15 paragraph (3) of Act II of 1992 on the entering into force of Act I of 1992 on Co-operative Societies and on Transition Rules (hereinafter: Act on Transition Rules);

c) natural damage shall include any unfavourable change in the protected natural values or the natural status of the area or the decrease of the level of protection thereof as a result of natural processes or human activities.

 

Article 8

The Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Policy shall once a year submit a report to the National Assembly about the progress of expropriations conducted according to Article 4 paragraph (1) and Article 5 paragraph (2) herein.

 

Article 9

(1) This Act shall enter into force on the fifteenth day from its announcement. At the same time Article 19 of the Act on Transition Rules shall cease to have effect.

(2) The Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Policy shall be entitled to determine by Decree and in agreement with the Minister of Finance the schedule of expropriation and the date of expropriation of each piece of land within the timeframe set forth in Article 4 paragraph (1) and Article 5 paragraph (2) herein. [2]

(3) The Directorate shall at request provide information about the natural areas under the scope of this Act and planned for protection, in line with the provisions of Act LXIII of 1992 on the Protection of Personal Data and the Publicity of Data of Public Interest.

 

Notes

1 Delivered: as of 10 November, 1995

2 See Decree No 17/1996 (VIII.16.) KTM and Decree No 12/1997 (IV.25.) KTM