A total of €57 million 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. However, because some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States the financial impact of today's decision will be some €52 million. 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.
Main financial corrections
Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from 15 Member States: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the UK.
Within this global figure of €57 million, the most significant individual correction is €20.04 million charged to France for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements.
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 management and control is not good enough to guarantee that EU funds have been spent properly.
Livestock Premiums - correction proposed for payments for ineligible animals and incorrect application of sanctions
Livestock Premiums - correction proposed for undue payments and non-application of reductions/exclusions for animals with irregularities
Area aid - correction proposed for deficiencies related to the allocation of entitlements
Area aid - correction proposed for weaknesses in on-the-spot checks
POSEI - correction proposed for not conclusive administrative controls and deficiencies in on-the-spot controls
Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses in the administrative controls, on-the-spot checks and recoveries
Cross-compliance - correction proposed for partial and ineffective check of SMRs and lenient sanctioning system
Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses in LPIS, administrative cross checks and in the on-the-spot checks
Milk Products - correction proposed for late on-the-spot checks for School milk scheme
Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements
Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses in LPIS and on-the-spot checks
Rural Development - correction proposed for support paid to ineligible beneficiaries
Fruit and vegetables - correction proposed for weaknesses in administrative and accounting checks of producers and for lack of reconciling records held by producer organisations and processors with the accounts required under national law
Other corrections - correction proposed for lack of information on the undertaken recovery actions, for negligence in the recovery procedure and for non-reporting in Annex III
Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses in interpretation of obvious error and in the on-the-spot checks
Cross-compliance - correction proposed for a couple of GAEC not defined, incorrect calculation of sanction, deficiencies in checks for SMR4 and tolerance applied for SMR7
Rural Development – correction proposed for lack of selection criteria for evaluating the projects
Rural Development – correction proposed for late on-the-spot checks
Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses in LPIS
Area Aids – correction proposed for weakness in measurement of the agricultural parcels
Annex II : Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD