Land Swapping in Eastern Europe

Challenge

MET Real Estate
MET Real Estate
Bulgarian MET Real Estate sought our help vis-à-vis EU state aid and environmental politics. MET planned a development located in an area protected by the EU Nature Directives, having obtained the construction permits through the land swapping laws, common in Bulgaria as in other former Communist countries. Alber & Geiger had to convince the European Commission that there was no illegal state aid in the aftermath of Bulgaria’s EU accession.

Strategy

ag-wins-map-sofia-brussels Our methodology assimilated policy and law into a subtle and meticulously engineered lobbying strategy. It practically depictured to Commission’s experts that a resolution could be found which did not violate state aid law or inhibit Bulgaria’s legitimate development goals. It used the length and breadth of EU policy fields to put the situation on a macro-European policy context. It relied on the socio-economic dynamics of transition in the Bulgarian property market, and subsumed this framework into consciousness of the European Commission’s policy.

Results

Ultimately we were able to get the Commission, the Bulgarian Government and MET Real Estate, to agree on a settlement that would benefit the internal market and the development needs of the Bulgarian tourism industry. We protected our client from a potentially non-empathetic knee-jerk reaction by the European Commission, which would have had wider implications on the economic health of the region.