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Commission to recover €230 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

Commission Européenne - IP/13/389   02/05/2013

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 2 May 2013

Commission to recover €230 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

A total of €230 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 €227 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 14 Member States: Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. The most significant individual corrections are:

  • € 83.6 million charged to Greece for non-compliant reduction of the minimum yield for the dried grapes;

  • € 79.9 million charged to Poland for deficiencies in the check of the initial application and in the approval of the business plan for the Semi-subsistence farms measure;

  • € 24.0 million (financial impact1 : €23.9 million) charged to Greece for weaknesses in flock registers and on-the-spot checks for animal premiums;

  • € 10.3 million charged to UK for weakness in identification of animals and in on-the-spot checks for the animal premiums.

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 41: Corrections by Member state (In Million €)

Sector and reason for correction

Amount of correction

Amount of financial impact of the correction2

Belgium

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceilings

0.595

0.595

Czech Republic

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceilings

0.027

0.027

Germany

 

Rural development - correction proposed for lack of 100% verification of the parcels for Agri-environment measure

0.340

0.340

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

0.935

0.935

Spain

 

Livestock Premiums – correction proposed for insufficient rate of on-the-spot checks for bovine and ovine and for incorrect application of sanctions

0.196

0.196

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for deficiencies in sanctioning system, 1 good agricultural and environmental condition (GAEC) missing and partial coverage of 2 statutory management requirements (SMR)

0.991

0.990

UK

Animal premium - correction proposed for weaknesses in identification of animals by management tags only, absence of reaction in terms of increase of numbers of on-the-spot checks, frequent announcement of on-the-spot checks more than 48h in advance

10.348

10.348

Rural Development - correction proposed for deficiencies in the scope of the on-the-spot checks, controllability and risk analysis

1.930

0.001

Other corrections - correction proposed for late payments and exceeding of financial ceiling

0.322

-0.277

Greece

 

Fruits & Vegetables - correction proposed for non-compliant reduction of the minimum yield for the dried grapes

83.613

83.613

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for weaknesses in on the spot checks and delays in I&R database updates for bovine

9.403

8.900

Livestock premiums - correction proposed for weaknesses in flock registers and on-the-spot checks for ovine

23.956

23.883

Rural Development - correction proposed for weaknesses in on-the-spot controls

6.175

6.175

Other corrections – reimbursement following the judgement issued in case T-158/09

0.821

0.821

Hungary

 

Other corrections - correction proposed for exceeding of financial ceiling

0.001

0.000

Ireland

 

Cross-compliance - correction proposed for 2 missing GAECs and incorrect application of sanctions

1.899

1.899

Lithuania

Rural development - correction proposed for weaknesses in the on-the-spot controls

3.449

3.449

Malta

Area Aids - correction proposed for weaknesses in the establishment of the payment entitlements

0.092

0.091

Poland

Rural development - correction proposed for deficiencies in the check of the initial application and in the approval of the business plan for the Semi-subsistence farms measure

79.903

79.903

Rural development - correction proposed for weaknesses in sanction system and lack of verification of 100% of parcels for Agri-environment measure

1.922

1.922

Other corrections - correction proposed for unaccounted recoveries found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2010

0.680

0.680

Portugal

Export Refunds and Sugar CMO - correction proposed for weaknesses in the selection of the export declarations for the physical checks

0.031

0.031

Slovenia

Rural development - correction proposed for deficiencies in the administrative checks for the Natural Handicaps measure

0.554

0.554

Slovakia

Rural development - correction proposed for lack of timing of on-the-spot controls and lack of cross checks for livestock verification for the Agri-environment measure

1.139

1.139

Rural development - lack of verification of minimum standards for animal welfare

0.401

0.401

Other corrections - correction proposed for financial error in the EAFRD accounts found during the financial clearance of accounts for 2010

1.764

1.764

TOTAL

229.844

226.738

Annex II : Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 41: Corrections by Sector (In Million €)

Sector

Amount of correction

Amount of financial impact of the correction3

 

 

 

Export refunds

0.031

0.031

 

Fruit and Vegetables

83.613

83.613

 

Livestock premiums

43.903

43.327

Area aid

0.092

0.091

Cross-compliance

2.890

2.890

Rural development

95.812

93.884

Other corrections

3.503

2.903

 

 

 

TOTAL

229.844

226.739

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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