A total of €346.5 million (£305.2m) of EU farm money improperly spent by
member states is being claimed back by the European Commission. This
includes €18.1m (£15.9m) from the United Kingdom. The money returns to
the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control
procedures on agricultural expenditure.
Member states are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under
the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure
that member states have made correct use of the funds.
Commenting on the decision, Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner for Agriculture and
Rural Development, said: “This exercise remains a very important instrument in
making sure that Member States have sufficient controls in place to ensure that
taxpayers' money is properly spent."
Main financial corrections
Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from Belgium, Bulgaria,
Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain,
Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg Netherlands, Poland, Portugal,
Slovakia and Sweden.
The most significant individual corrections are:
€47.5 million (£41.8m) charged to Spain for ineligible costs and for
weaknesses in the control system in the fruit and vegetables sector;
€92 million (£81m) charged to Poland for various weaknesses in area aids for
the years 2006-2007;
€105.5 million (£92.9m) charged to Greece for weaknesses in the control
system for cotton and €18.5 million (£16.3m) for rural development measures,
for severe and persistent weaknesses in the IACS system;
€14.2 million (£12.5m) charged to United Kingdom for failure to meet the
statutory deadlines for direct payments;
€10.4 million (£9.2m) - for financial years 2003-2005 - charged to the
Netherlands for insufficient quantity of substitution checks performed in
calendar years 2003 and 2004 in the sector of export refunds.
For details on how the clearance of annual accounts system works, see
MEMO/06/178 and the factsheet "Managing the agriculture budget
wisely", available on the internet at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/fin/clearance/factsheet_en.pdf .