1. €214 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States to recover by the EU

    published on Friday, October 14, 2011 under Agriculture & Fisheries

    The European Commission claims back a total of €214 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure. Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

    A total of €214 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States is being claimed back by the European Commission under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure. 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. This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. In April 2011, the Commission already claimed back €530 million in CAP expenditure to the Member States.

    The main financial corrections are €76.6 million charged to Sweden for the weaknesses in the Land Parcel Identification System – Geographical Information System (LPIS-GIS), administrative controls and sanctions for area-aids expenditures, including area-based Rural Development measures; €70.9 million charged to Italy with regard to the late controls in the sector of milk; and €22.3 million charged to Denmark for the weaknesses in LPIS-GIS, in the on-the-spot checks and in the calculation of sanctions.

    Member States are responsible for managing most CAP payments, mainly via their paying agencies. They are also in charge of controls, for example verifying the 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.

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