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Commission to recover € 346.5 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

European Commission - IP/10/284   16/03/2010

Other available languages: FR DE DA ES NL IT SV PT FI EL ET HU PL SK BG

IP/10/284

Brussels, 16 March 2010

Commission to recover 346.5 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

A total of € 346.5 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a conformity clearance procedure decision adopted by the European Commission. The 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.

Commenting on the decision, Dacian Cioloș, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “This exercise remains a very important instrument in making sure that Member States have sufficient controls in place to ensure that taxpayers' money is properly spent."

Main financial corrections

Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. The most significant individual corrections are:

  • € 47.5 million charged to Spain for ineligible costs and for weaknesses in the control system in the fruit and vegetables sector;

  • € 92 million charged to Poland for various weaknesses in area aids for the years 2006-2007;

  • € 105.5 million charged to Greece for weaknesses in the control system for cotton and €18.5 million for rural development measures, for severe and persistent weaknesses in the IACS system;

  • € 14.2 million charged to United Kingdom for failure to meet the statutory deadlines for direct payments;

  • € 10.4 million (for financial years 2003-2005) charged to the Netherlands for insufficient quantity of substitution checks performed in calendar years 2003 and 2004 in the sector of export refunds.

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 and EAFRD

Decision 32: Corrections by Member state

Sector and reason for correction

Amount in million EUR

Belgium

Financial Audit – overshooting of financial ceilings.

0.001

Bulgaria

Financial Audit – non-respect of payment deadlines

0.011

Cyprus

Direct Payments – quality and timing of on-the-spot checks, weak general control environment

0.757

Germany

Direct Payments – wrong application of reductions and exclusions

6.713

Financial Audit - non-respect of payment deadlines.

0.037

Denmark

Cross-compliance - insufficient quantity and quality of key and ancillary controls.

4.360

Animal Premiums – insufficient quantity of on-the-spot checks and non-respect of the definition of suckler cow.

1.589

Estonia

Financial Audit – overshooting of financial ceilings.

0.030

Spain

Unrecoverable debt

0.012

Cross-compliance - insufficient quantity and quality of key and ancillary controls.

2.245

Financial Audit - non-respect of payment deadlines, overshooting of financial ceilings, ineligible expenditure, milk levy and failure to repay amounts due to cross compliance.

4.735

Fruit and Vegetables – operational programmes – ineligible cost of environmental management of packaging

35.987

Fruit and Vegetables – producer groups - ineligible cost of environmental management of packaging and weaknesses in the control system for the recognition of producer organizations.

11.475

Hemp – production aid – reimbursement following judgment of Court of Justice in case T-259/05

-5.287

Finland

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

0.002

France

Clearance of accounts – debt management, overshooting of ceilings, most likely error and systematic error.

1.028

Dried Fodder – insufficient quantity of samples taken and low quality of their examination.

3.045

Fruit and Vegetables – operational programmes – ineligible cost of environmental management of packaging, flat rates for personnel costs.

6.859

Animal Premiums – Weak control environment and absent of the suckler cow status of the herd, weakness on application of sanctions.

8.575

Great Britain

Direct Payments – incorrect application of reductions and exclusions

0.019

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

0.263

Financial Audit: non-respect of payment deadlines.

14.181

Rural Development– weaknesses in key checks and in administrative controls. Provisions of ERDP not implemented in practice.

3.648

Greece

Food aid within the Community – ineligible costs resulting from late withdrawals and late distribution

8.331

Fruit and Vegetables – operational programmes – value of marketable production wrongly established.

0.315

Cotton – weak control system, deficiencies in the control of area and environmental measures, overshooting the production quantities permitted by the Regulation.

105.453

Rural Development – persistent weaknesses in IACS system, deficiencies in control reports, delayed performance of on-the-spot checks.

18.524

Olive Oil – consumption aid – reimbursement following judgment of the Court of Justice in case T-243/05.

-0.200

Hungary

Financial audit – ineligible expenditure

0.006

Financial audit – overshooting of financial ceilings

-0.022

Rural Development: reimbursement following double correction.

-0.156

Ireland

Dairy Premium – late applications.

0.367

Financial Audit – non-respect of payment deadlines

0.153

Italy

Financial Audit – payment deadlines – ineligible expenditure

0.009

Financial Audit - non-respect of payment deadlines.

1.878

Fruits&Vegetables – operational programmes – ineligible expenditure

0.019

Luxembourg

Financial Audit – overshooting of financial ceilings

0.001

Animal Premiums – lack of administrative controls concerning retention period, lack of on-the-spot controls, inappropriate calculation of sanctions.

0.363

Netherlands

Clearance of Accounts – tested population errors

0.931

Export Refunds - insufficient quantity of substitution checks performed

10.408

Financial Audit - overshooting of financial ceilings and ineligible expenditure

0.093

Animal Premiums – weaknesses in the management of the herd registers and of the supporting documentation.

6.794

Poland

Direct Payments – land parcel system not completely vectorised, acceptance of ineligible land for payments. Insufficient number of on-the-spot checks in regions with high error rates. Erroneous application of previsions of intentional non-compliance.

91.988

Portugal

Direct Payments – reimbursement following judgment of the Court of Justice in case T-50/07.

-1.984

Flax production aid – reimbursement following judgment of the Court of Justice in case T-183/06.

-3.135

Sweden

Financial Audit – non respect of payment deadlines

0.036

Cross compliance – insufficient quantity and quality of key and ancillary controls.

3.039

Slovakia

Rural Development – incorrect control procedure resulting in insufficient controls with chosen samples.

3.034

TOTAL

346.530

Annex II

Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 32: Corrections by Sector

In Mio. €

Area Aid

97.49

Animal Premiums

17.32

Clearance of Accounts

1.97

Cotton

105.45

Cross compliance

9.65

Dried fodder

3.04

Export Refunds

10.41

Financial Audit

21.41

Food Aid

8.33

Fruits & vegetables

54.66

Hemp and flax

- 8.42

Milk

0.37

Olive Oil

- 0.20

Rural Development

25.05

TOTAL

346.53


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