Recovery of funds
There are three circumstances in which the European Commission has to ask relevant Member States for a reimbursement (recovery) of Structural and Investment funding.
Firstly, recovery is due when not all the financial contributions to the relevant Member State have been necessary. The EU's financial rules would require recovery of these amounts of money.
Secondly, the EU's financial rules would require recovery where funds have been received for a structural operation that has already been completed.
Thirdly, if money from EU Structural and Investment funds is misused due to fraud or negligence, the European Commission has the right to ask the relevant Member State for a reimbursement.
Recovery procedures laid down in EU law could be activated in order to recoup the money. In relation to cohesion policy funds, a certifying authority draws up and sends the Commission an inventory of expenditure and requests for payment for each operational programme. The authority must also certify accurate expenditure of funding and assess compliance with relevant EU rules and regulations.
If there is a problem - identified through discrepancies in accounts or through inspections by the Commission or other bodies - the certification authority will have to monitor the recovery of funding. If necessary, the local judicial system will be used to help enforce the recovery process.