BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — A total of €215 million of E.U. agricultural policy funds unduly spent by member states is being claimed back by the European Commission on Sept. 6 under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure.
However, because some of these amounts have already been recovered from the member states and the commission is reimbursing Spain following a court ruling on a previous disallowance decision, the net financial impact of the decision will be some €94 million. This money returns to the E.U. budget because of non-compliance with E.U. 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.
Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from Germany, Ireland, Greece, France, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The most significant individual corrections are:
• €89.4 million (financial impact: €88.9 million) charged to Portugal for weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS and for late on-the-spot controls;
• €34.5 million (financial impact: €32.2 million) charged to the U.K. for weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS, deficiencies in the on-the-spot checks;
• €28 million (financial impact: €27.9 million) charged to Italy for deficiencies in calculation of entitlements and for deficiencies in integration of the olive oil sector into SPS;
• €20.4 million charged to Sweden for the deficiencies in the LPIS in respect of financial years 2009 for area-aids expenditure, including area-based Rural Development measures.
Following last year's European Court judgment (C-24/11P) against a previous Commission decision to recover olive oil funds, Spain will be reimbursed €110.7 million.