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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 12 December 2013

Commission to recover €335 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

A total of €335 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 €304 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: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden. The most significant individual corrections are:

  • 141.8 million (financial impact1 : €141.5 million) charged to France for weaknesses related to cross-compliance

  • 78.8 million (financial impact1 : €66.6 million) charged to Greece for weaknesses related to deficiencies in allocation of entitlements

  • 24.3 million (financial impact1 : €24.1 million) charged to the Netherlands for weakness in functioning of LPIS, in on-the-spot checks and in calculation of payments and sanctions

  • 22.2 million (financial impact1 : €21.0 million) charged to Greece for weaknesses related to cross-compliance

  • 17.7 million (financial impact1 : €10.9 million) charged to France for weaknesses related to the recognition of producers organisations of fruit and vegetables.

Following the European Court judgement (T-2/11) against a previous Commission decision, Portugal will be reimbursed €0.5 million.

Background

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.

For details on how the clearance of annual accounts system works, see MEMO/12/109 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).

Contacts :

Fanny Dabertrand (+32 2 299 06 25)

Roger Waite (+32 2 296 14 04)

Annex I : Conformity clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 43: Corrections by Member state (In Million €)

Sector and reason for correction

Amount of correction

Amount of financial impact of the correction2

Austria

 

Area Aids - correction proposed for deficiencies in the LPIS-GIS, in the functioning of on-the-spot controls and in application of sanctions and payments

3.63

3.63

Belgium

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.84

0.00

Czech Republic

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for administrative errors found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2012

0.12

0.12

Germany

 

Area Aids - correction proposed for deficiencies in the LPIS cross-checks and for the wrong measurement tolerance used during on-the-spot checks

0.15

0.15

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.01

0.00

Other corrections - correction proposed for the material error found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2009

0.14

0.14

Spain

 

Fruit and vegetables - correction proposed for specific ineligible expenditure, for the deficiencies in controls of the risk of double funding and for unjustified flat rate aid paid for personnel costs of Producers Organisations

7.78

7.78

Area Aids - correction proposed for weakness of on-the-spot checks

3.13

3.13

Area Aids - correction proposed for weakness of on-the-spot checks

1.27

1.27

Area Aids - correction proposed for deficiencies in allocation of entitlements

7.73

7.73

Late payments - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling, late payments, ineligible expenditure and recovery of milk levy

3.56

Reimbursement of 1.19

Late payments - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling and late payments

0.29

0.00

Finland

 

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for undue payments of ineligible animals and weaknesses of the on-the-spot checks

0.31

0.31

Rural development - correction proposed for ineligible investments in second-hand equipment and for weaknesses in verifying reasonableness of the costs of the investments

0.94

0.93

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.07

0.00

France

 

Fruit and vegetables - correction proposed for weaknesses related to the recognition of producers organisations of fruit and vegetables

17.70

10.94

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for 2 non-defined and not checked good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC), deficient controls of some statutory management requirements (SMR) and lenient sanctioning system

141.82

141.49

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.36

0.00

Other corrections - correction proposed for errors found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2009

0.06

0.06

Greece

 

Fruit and vegetables - Tomato Processing - correction proposed for deficiencies in controls of tally checks, physical checks of the areas, administrative and accounting checks of the producers and finished products, physical and accounting checks on stocks

3.36

3.36

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for weaknesses in on-the-spot checks, retention of animals not being checked for ovine scheme as well as for weaknesses in sanctioning system, supervision checks and undue payments to individual applicants for bovine scheme

1.59

1.55

Area Aids - correction proposed for deficiencies in allocation of entitlements

78.81

66.63

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for 2 non-defined and not checked good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC), deficient controls of some statutory management requirements (SMR), incomplete control reports and lenient sanctioning system

22.23

21.04

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments, exceeding of financial ceilings and correction of milk levy

3.36

Reimbursement of 0.09

Hungary

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for known error found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2011

0.34

0.34

Ireland

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.04

0.00

Luxembourg

Area Aids – correction proposed for weaknesses in LPIS-GIS, absence of retroactive recoveries following the update of LPIS-GIS and deficiencies in calculation of payments and penalties

0.22

0.22

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.01

0.00

Latvia

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.01

0.00

The Netherlands

Area Aids - correction proposed for weakness in functioning of LPIS, in on-the-spot checks and in calculation of payments and sanctions

24.33

24.14

Area Aids - correction proposed for inaccuracy of LPIS-GIS

5.80

5.80

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.12

0.00

Other corrections - correction proposed for non-charging and non-reporting of interest on debts in relation to some irregularity cases

5.28

5.28

Portugal

 

POSEI - reimbursement following judgement in case T-2/11

Reimbursement of 0.51

Reimbursement of 0.51

Romania

 

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.07

0.00

Sweden

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.02

0.00

TOTAL

334.98

304.26

Annex II : Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 43: Corrections by Sector (In Million €)

Sector

Amount of correction

Amount of financial impact of the correction3

 

 

 

Area aids / Arable crops

283.70

269.99

 

Article 69 of Reg.1782/2003

1.80

1.77

 

Financial Audit

9.54

-0.61

 

Fruit and vegetables

28.84

22.08

 

Irregularities

5.28

5.28

 

Livestock premiums

0.01

0.01

Milk Products

-0.14

0.00

POSEI

-0.51

-0.51

Rural development

6.37

6.17

 

Specific support (Art.68 of Reg.73/2009)

0.09

0.09

TOTAL

334.98

304.26

1 :

The financial impact is lower due to amounts already recovered from or paid back by the Member State.

2 :

Financial impact of the correction is taking into account the previous overlapping corrections and amounts already recovered by the European Commission

3 :

Financial impact of the correction is taking into account the previous overlapping corrections and amounts already recovered by the European Commission


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