A total of €83 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 27th since
the 1995 reform of the system for recovering unduly spent
CAP money - funds will be recovered from Czech Republic, Denmark,
Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
Austria and Portugal. The most significant individual corrections
- €54.9 million charged to Spain for unauthorised planting
of vineyards in years 2003 and 2004;
- €11.0 million charged to France for non-respect of recognition
criteria concerning producers' groups operating in
fruits and vegetables sector and for not satisfying level
of assistance delivered by them to the individual producers.
Ireland is required to return €0.77m in respect of -
'Milk powder for casein - weaknesses in sampling procedure
of production batches'.
For details on how the clearance of annual accounts system
works, see MEMO/06/178
and the factsheet - 'Managing the agriculture budget wisely'