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Commission to recover €414 million of CAP expenditure from Member States

Commission Européenne - IP/13/160   26/02/2013

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 26 February 2013

Commission to recover €414 million of CAP expenditure from Member States

A total of €414 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. 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. This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. Formally speaking, because some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States the net financial impact of today's decision will be some €393 million.

Main financial corrections

Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from 22 Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The most significant individual corrections are:

  • € 111.7 million (net financial impact1 : €99.4 million) charged to UK - England for weaknesses in the Land Parcel Identification and Geographic Information Systems (LPIS-GIS), in the processing of applications, in administrative cross checks and in on-the-spot controls with regard to area aid;

  • € 48.3 million (net financial impact1 : €48.1 million) charged to Italy for infringements in cross compliance: poor control of several statutory management requirements (SMRs), three undefined good agricultural and environmental conditions (GAECs) and incorrect application of sanctions;

  • € 40.6 million charged to Spain for shortcomings in the management and control of export refunds: deficient ex-ante checks on beef, weaknesses in execution of physical checks, inadequate checks on production and stock of sugar, advance notice of physical checks given to the exporters;

  • € 34.4 million charged to Poland for weaknesses in the management of the early retirement scheme under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural development (EAFRD);

  • € 29 million charged to France for deficiencies in the on-the-spot controls in Natural Handicaps and Agri-environment measures under the EAFRD;

  • € 17.9 million charged to Italy for a gravely deficient control system and fraud in the citrus processing sector;

  • € 17.7 million (net financial impact2 : €15.7 million) charged to UK – Northern Ireland for weaknesses in LPIS-GIS, on-the-spot checks, payments and sanctions with regard to area aid;

  • € 16 million charged to Spain for deficiencies in the allocation of entitlements to beneficiaries for area aid;

  • € 12.5 million charged to Romania for weaknesses in the controls of beneficiaries' eligibility and expenses as well as for deficiencies in the application of sanctions in the "Modernisation of agricultural holdings" measure under the EAFRD.

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 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. The Commission has the power to claw back funds in arrears if 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 40: Corrections by Member state (In Million €)

Sector and reason for correction

Amount of correction

Amount of net financial impact of the correction3

Belgium

 

Cross compliance - correction proposed for not implementing GAEC and partial on-the-spot controls

2.477

2.477

Bulgaria

 

Rural development - correction proposed for deficiencies in timing of the on-the-spot checks and sample selection

0.023

0.023

Cyprus

 

Rural development - correction proposed for late administrative checks and inappropriate timing of on-the-spot checks

0.100

0.100

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of ceilings

0.001

0.000

Czech Republic

 

Cross compliance - correction proposed for undefined GAEC and weaknesses in evaluation of non- compliances

6.558

6.558

Rural development - correction proposed for lack of on-the-spot checks on livestock density

4.477

4.455

Germany

 

Rural development - correction proposed for weaknesses in selection among eligible applications and ineligible VAT included in payments

3.739

3.739

Denmark

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for deficiencies in debt recovery

0.019

0.019

Spain

 

Export refunds - correction proposed for deficient ex-ante checks on beef, weaknesses in execution of physical checks, inadequate checks on production and stock of sugar, advance notice of physical checks given to the exporters

40.596

40.596

Area aid - correction proposed for deficiencies in the allocation of the entitlements

16.030

16.030

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for one missing GAEC and for weaknesses in effectiveness of controls and in application of reduction

6.486

6.485

Rural development - correction proposed for weaknesses in the on-the-spot controls and lack of traceability

0.379

0.379

Other corrections - reimbursement due to rectification of the Annex III table for financial year 2006 (recovery of irregularities)

Reimbursement 1.785

Reimbursement 1.785

Finland

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for errors detected during the financial clearance exercise for 2009

0.067

0.067

France

 

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for deficiencies in the holding register and non-compliance of the computer database

4.474

4.465

Rural development - correction proposed for non-exhaustive administrative control of the preferential loans invoices and late audits in banks

6.453

6.453

Rural development - correction proposed for deficiencies in the on-the-spot controls for Natural Handicaps and Agri-environment measures

28.956

28.956

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

1.372

0.000

Other corrections - correction proposed for ineligible expenditure identified during the financial clearance exercise for 2008

0.108

0.108

UK

Area aid - correction proposed for England for weaknesses in LPIS-GIS, in processing of applications, in administrative cross checks and in on-the-spot controls

111.678

99.430

Area aid - correction proposed for Northern Ireland for weaknesses in LPIS-GIS, on-the-spot checks, payments and sanctions

17.687

15.733

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for lenient sanctioning system and for not adequately controlled minimum requirements on fertilisers, plant protection product use and one SMR

2.476

2.476

Rural development - correction proposed for deficiencies in the Agri-environment measures

4.353

4.331

Other corrections - correction proposed for deficiencies in debt recovery

1.829

1.829

Greece

 

Intervention storage - correction proposed for overpaid public storage costs

0.428

0.428

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for weaknesses in timing of controls, in determination of the eligibility criteria, in risk analysis and in on-the-spot checks, lack of quality supervision for the delegated controls

3.686

3.686

Other corrections - correction proposed for late payments and exceeding of ceilings

5.209

4.822

Hungary

 

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for 8 undefined GAECs

9.362

9.291

Ireland

 

Rural development – correction proposed for weaknesses in the Early Retirement scheme and the Young Farmers scheme

0.397

0.397

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.013

0.000

Other corrections - correction proposed for "known errors" found during the financial clearance for 2010

0.198

0.198

Other corrections - correction proposed for non-reporting of interest on debts

0.030

0.030

Italy

 

Fruit and Vegetables - correction proposed for a gravely deficient control system and fraud in the citrus processing sector

17.914

17.914

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for several badly controlled SMRs, 3 undefined GAECs and incorrect application of sanctions

48.302

48.095

Rural development - correction proposed for absence of cross-checks with the animal database and delayed on-the-spot checks

1.246

1.246

Other corrections - correction proposed for late payments

2.294

0.000

Other corrections - correction proposed for deficiencies in the accreditation criteria

6.354

6.354

Lithuania

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for missing GAECs, badly controlled GAECs and deficiencies in the application of sanctions

1.462

1.461

Rural development - correction proposed for weak control system on eligibility of beneficiaries

3.033

3.033

Malta

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for lenient sanctioning system

0.069

0.069

The Netherlands

Other corrections - correction proposed for "known errors" found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2010

0.689

0.689

Poland

Fruit and Vegetables - correction proposed for late payments and for weaknesses in the physical, administrative and accounting checks

0.661

0.659

Rural development - correction proposed for weakness in management of the early retirement scheme

34.452

34.452

Romania

Rural development - correction proposed for weaknesses in the controls of eligibility of the beneficiary and expenses and for deficiencies in the application of sanctions in the Modernisation of agricultural holdings measure

12.501

12.501

Rural development - correction proposed for incomplete checks on parcels and on logbooks

5.199

2.960

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.083

0.000

Sweden

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of ceiling

0.003

0.000

Slovenia

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for failure to achieve the minimum rate of on-the-spot checks for ovine animals and for non-application of sanctions in case of late tagging of bovines

0.098

0.098

Area aid - correction proposed for deficiencies in calculation of entitlements

0.188

0.188

Slovakia

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for undefined GAEC and weaknesses in on-the-spot controls

1.558

1.558

Late payments - correction proposed for late payments

0.346

0.000

TOTAL

414.327

393.050

Annex II : Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 40: Corrections by Sector (In Million €)

Sector

Amount of correction

Amount of financial impact of the correction4

 

 

 

Export refunds

40,596

40,596

 

Fruit and Vegetables

18,575

18,573

 

Intervention storage and other market measures

0,428

0,428

 

Livestock premiums

8,259

8,249

Area aid

145,583

131,380

Cross-compliance

78,750

78,470

Rural development

105,307

103,023

Late payments

1,814

0,000

 

Other corrections

15,015

12,331

 

 

 

TOTAL

414,327

393,050

1 :

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

2 :

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

3 :

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

4 :

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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