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European Commission to recover €530 million of CAP expenditure
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A total of € 530 million (£468million) of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States is being claimed back by the European Commission today under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure.  This includes €26.95 million (£23.8 million) from the United Kingdom. This 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.

    European Commission to recover €530 million of CAP expenditure

    Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and United Kingdom while there is a small reimbursement made to Germany. The most significant individual corrections are:

     -       € 137.23  million (£121.14 million) charged to Greece for ineligible expenditure and major shortcomings in the olive cultivation Geographical Information System (GIS) and on-the-spot controls;

    -       € 122.38 million (£108.03 million) charged to Greece with regard to insufficient on-the-spot checks and deficiencies in the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS-GIS) and in administrative cross-checks for area aid (also relates to area based Rural Development measures);

    -       € 74.9 million (£66.12 million) charged to Romania for the weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS relating to administrative cross-checks, provision of inaccurate information to farmers and ineffective on-the-spot verification with regard to area aid (also relates to area based Rural Development measures);

    -       € 70.96 million (£62.66 million) charged to Spain for incorrect technical tolerances applied, deficiencies in the checks on yields and incorrect application of penalties for delays in submitting the crop declarations with regard to olive oil;

    -       € 37.25 million (£32.89 million) charged to Spain with regard to ineligible costs for environmental management of packaging and ineligible expenditure with regard to fruit and vegetables;

    -       € 26.95 million (£23.8 million) charged to United Kingdom with regard to weaknesses in the recognition of Producer Organisations and related weaknesses and deficiencies in verifying the Value of Marketed Production in the area of fruit and vegetables;

    -       € 24.54 million (£21.67 million) charged to Bulgaria for insufficient levels of on-the-spot checks, weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS and provision of inaccurate information and insufficient guidance to farmers with regard to area aid  (also relates to area based Rural Development measures);

    -       € 22.69 million (£20.04 million) charged to the Netherlands for ineligible costs for printing on packages and ineligible expenditure by a producer organisation with decentralised marketing in respect of fruit and vegetables.

    Member States are responsible for managing most CAP payments, mainly via their paying agencies. They are also in charge of controls, for example verifying farmer's claims for direct payments. The Commission carries out over 100 audits every year, verifying that Member State controls and responses to shortcomings are sufficient, and has the power to claw back funds in arrears if the audits show that Member State responses are not good enough to guarantee that EU funds have been spent properly.

    The financial correction is proportional with the rate of error. The decision comes after a conciliation process between the Commission and Member States on the basis of objective data on the ground and the risk of misuse of funds.

    For details on how the clearance of annual accounts system works, see MEMO/06/178 and the factsheet  Managing the agriculture budget wisely

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

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only
    For more information, please contact Rachael Langlands-Brown on 029 2089 5024.

    Last update: 15/04/2011  |Top