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Commission to recover €346.5 million of CAP expenditure
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17/03/2010 00:00:00

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 CioloČ™, 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 .

    Details of the individual corrections, by member state and by sector, are given in the tables attached (annexes I and II).

    Euro/£ exchange rate March 2010: 0.8809

    Annex I

    Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

    Decision 32: Corrections by Member state

     

    Sector and reason for correction

    Amount in million EUR

     

     

     

    Belgium

     

    Financial Audit – overshooting of financial ceilings.

    0.001

     

    Bulgaria

     

    Financial Audit – non-respect of payment deadlines

    0.011

     

    Cyprus

     

    Direct Payments – quality and timing of on-the-spot checks, weak general control environment

    0.757

     

    Germany

     

    Direct Payments – wrong application of reductions and exclusions

    6.713

    Financial Audit - non-respect of payment deadlines.

    0.037

     

    Denmark

     

    Cross-compliance - insufficient quantity and quality of key and ancillary controls.

    4.360

    Animal Premiums – insufficient quantity of on-the-spot checks and non-respect of the definition of suckler cow.

    1.589

     

    Estonia

     

    Financial Audit – overshooting of financial ceilings.

    0.030

     

    Spain

     

    Unrecoverable debt

    0.012

    Cross-compliance - insufficient quantity and quality of key and ancillary controls.

    2.245

    Financial Audit - non-respect of payment deadlines, overshooting of financial ceilings, ineligible expenditure, milk levy and failure to repay amounts due to cross compliance.

    4.735

    Fruit and Vegetables – operational programmes – ineligible cost of environmental management of packaging

    35.987

    Fruit and Vegetables – producer groups - ineligible cost of environmental management of packaging and weaknesses in the control system for the recognition of producer organizations.

    11.475

    Hemp – production aid – reimbursement following judgment of Court of Justice in case T-259/05

    -5.287

     

     

    Finland

     

    Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

    0.002

     

    France

     

    Clearance of accounts – debt management, overshooting of ceilings, most likely error and systematic error.

    1.028

    Dried Fodder – insufficient quantity of samples taken and low quality of their examination.

    3.045

    Fruit and Vegetables – operational programmes – ineligible cost of environmental management of packaging, flat rates for personnel costs.

    6.859

    Animal Premiums – Weak control environment and absent of the suckler cow status of the herd, weakness on application of sanctions.

    8.575

     

    Great Britain

     

    Direct Payments – incorrect application of reductions and exclusions

    0.019

    Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

    0.263

    Financial Audit: non-respect of payment deadlines.

    14.181

    Rural Development– weaknesses in key checks and in administrative controls.  Provisions of ERDP not implemented in practice.

    3.648

     

    Greece

     

    Food aid within the Community – ineligible costs resulting from late withdrawals and late distribution

    8.331

    Fruit and Vegetables – operational programmes – value of marketable production wrongly established.

    0.315

    Cotton – weak control system, deficiencies in the control of area and environmental measures, overshooting the production quantities permitted by the Regulation.

    105.453

    Rural Development – persistent weaknesses in IACS system, deficiencies in control reports, delayed performance of on-the-spot checks.

    18.524

    Olive Oil – consumption aid – reimbursement following judgment of the Court of Justice in case T-243/05.

    -0.200

     

     

     

    Hungary

     

    Financial audit – ineligible expenditure

    0.006

    Financial audit – overshooting of financial ceilings

    -0.022

    Rural Development: reimbursement following double correction.

    -0.156

     

    Ireland

     

    Dairy Premium – late applications.

    0.367

    Financial Audit – non-respect of payment deadlines

    0.153

     

    Italy

     

    Financial Audit – payment deadlines – ineligible expenditure

    0.009

    Financial Audit - non-respect of payment deadlines.

    1.878

    Fruits&Vegetables – operational programmes – ineligible expenditure

    0.019

     

    Luxembourg

     

    Financial Audit – overshooting of financial ceilings

    0.001

    Animal Premiums – lack of administrative controls concerning retention period, lack of on-the-spot controls, inappropriate calculation of sanctions.

    0.363

     

    Netherlands

     

    Clearance of Accounts – tested population errors

    0.931

    Export Refunds - insufficient quantity of substitution checks performed

    10.408

    Financial Audit - overshooting of financial ceilings and ineligible expenditure

    0.093

    Animal Premiums – weaknesses in the management of the herd registers and of the supporting documentation.

    6.794

     

    Poland

     

    Direct Payments – land parcel system not completely vectorised, acceptance of ineligible land for payments.  Insufficient number of on-the-spot checks in regions with high error rates.  Erroneous application of previsions of intentional non-compliance.

    91.988

     

    Portugal

     

    Direct Payments – reimbursement following judgment of the Court of Justice in case T-50/07.

    -1.984

    Flax production aid – reimbursement following judgment of the Court of Justice in case T-183/06.

    -3.135


     

     

    Sweden

     

    Financial Audit – non respect of payment deadlines

    0.036

    Cross compliance – insufficient quantity and quality of key and ancillary controls.

    3.039

     

     

    Slovakia

     

    Rural Development – incorrect control procedure resulting in insufficient controls with chosen samples.

    3.034

     

    TOTAL

    346.530

    Annex II

    Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

    Decision 32: Corrections by Sector

     

     

    In Mio. €

    Area Aid

    97.49

     

     

    Animal Premiums

    17.32

     

     

    Clearance of Accounts

    1.97

     

     

    Cotton

    105.45

     

     

    Cross compliance

    9.65

     

     

    Dried fodder

    3.04

     

     

    Export Refunds

    10.41

     

     

    Financial Audit

    21.41

     

     

    Food Aid

    8.33

     

     

    Fruits & vegetables

    54.66

     

     

    Hemp and flax

    - 8.42

     

     

    Milk

    0.37

     

     

    Olive Oil

    - 0.20

     

     

    Rural Development

    25.05

     

     

    TOTAL

    346.53

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top