The European Commission has today reduced the reimbursement of CAP payments to Greece because of continued administrative problems in the management of the so-called Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS).
It is the first time that the Commission has used this new budget management option, but it is very important that our budget rules are respected", according to EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan.
Greece has made considerable progress in recent years in addressing the shortcomings for this very important element for managing CAP Direct Payments. However, several Commission audits carried out in the last 3 years have shown that the Greek LPIS is still not in compliance with the EU rules. As a consequence, the maximum eligible area recorded in the LPIS is overstated, which has led to irregular payments being made to beneficiaries under the single payment scheme.
Despite the action plan set up by the Greek authorities and the efforts made to remedy the situation, an audit carried out beginning of November 2014 confirmed that the objectives of the action plan were still not met and could not be achieved in the immediate future, i.e. for the payments relating to claim year 2014.
The Commission has therefore taken the precautionary measure for the first time of reducing the reimbursement of payments to Greece. The amount of the reduction corresponds to the amount considered at risk for the fund (which is estimated at around 17 EUR million).