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Friday, 17 February 2012

Funds unduly spent by EU Member States claimed back by the EC

Under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure, a total of €115.2 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States is being claimed back by the European Commission. As some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States, the financial impact is somewhat lower at €54.3 million. Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Sweden and 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.
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.

Source: European Commission