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IP/08/1123

Brussels, 9 July 2008

Commission to recover € 410.3 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

A total of € 410.3 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money returns to the Community budget because of inadequate control procedures or non-compliance with EU rules 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.

Commenting on the decision, Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "We are working extremely hard to maintain the best possible control over farm spending. The Court of Auditors has noted considerable improvements in our control system over recent years and we are striving to make things better still. This is taxpayers' money and they have a right to know it is being spent wisely."

Main financial corrections

Under this latest decision, the 28th since the 1995 reform of the system for recovering unduly spent CAP money, funds will be recovered from Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. The most significant individual corrections are:

  • € 145.2 million charged to Italy for weaknesses in the photo-interpretation of images and in the on-the-spot control procedure based on images from earlier years concerning arable crops (area aids) payments;
  • € 127.7 million charged to Greece for shortcomings in LPIS-GIS system and in on-the-spot checks concerning area aids and nuts payments;
  • € 69.4 million charged to Great Britain for inappropriate timing of the follow-up field visits and for the inaccurate determination of the area eligible for payments.

For details on how the clearance of annual accounts system works, see MEMO/06/178 and the factsheet "Managing the agriculture budget wisely", available on the internet at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/fin/clearance/factsheet_en.pdf.

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

Annex I

Clearance of accounts of EAGF

Decision 28: Corrections by Member state

Sector and reason for correction
Amount in million EUR
Germany
Rural Development Guarantee: high number of administrative and formal errors
2.97
Spain

Animal Premia & Arable Crops - reimbursement following partial annulment of Commission Decision 2004/457/CE by the Court of Justice
-0.82
Dairy Premium: overrun of quantitative ceiling
0.05
Fruits & Vegetables – Nuts: late payments
15.41
Fruits & Vegetables – Withdrawals: non-respect of environmental conditions
1.60
Meat Premiums – Bovines: weaknesses in the on-the-spot checks
1.09
France

Milk Powder for Casein: lack of conformity with the process of production
3.55
Rural Development Guarantee – Accompanying Measures: deficiencies in key-controls
3.74
Great Britain

Arable Crops: inappropriate timing of rapid filed visits, inaccurate determination of the area eligible for payments
69.39
Meat Premiums – Bovines & Ovines: inclusion of common land for forage area calculations under animal aid schemes
0.07
Greece

Arable Crops (Area Aids) & Nuts: LPIS-GIS system not fully operational, on-the-spot checks insufficient
127.71
Italy

Arable Crops (Area Aids) – weaknesses in interpretation of ortho-photo maps and in control procedure based on images from previous years
145.16
Export refunds: inadequate implementation of key-controls
0.51
Fruits & Vegetables – Citrus Processing: key-controls missing or implemented in part, evidence of fraud
15.35
Fruits & Vegetables – operational programmes: ineligible expenditure
0.01
Milk Quota: deficient controls on deliveries and direct sales
13.68
The Netherlands

Milk Powder for Casein: weaknesses in control procedure
7.32
Poland

Area Aids: inadequate or insufficient quality of control
3.11
Sweden

Meat Premiums – Ovines: ineligible payments, weaknesses concerning on-the-spot checks
0.41

TOTAL
410.31

Annex II

Clearance of accounts of EAGF

Decision 28: Corrections by Sector


In Mio. €


Arable Crops (Area Aids)
345.37


Export refunds
0.51


Fruits & vegetables
32.37


Milk
24.60


Meat Premiums
0.75


Rural Development
6.71


TOTAL
410.31


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