BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commission said on April 4 it will recover €318 million of E.U. agricultural policy funds, unduly spent by member states, 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 the decision will be some €315 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 11 member states: Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland and the U.K. The most significant individual corrections are:

• € 238.90 million (financial impact: €237.83 million) charged to France for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements.
• € 12.94 million (financial impact: €12.04 million) charged to Portugal for weaknesses related to the cross-compliance.
• € 10.03 million charged to France for deficiencies in the Young farmer measure and in the control of the subsidized loans.

Following the European Court judgment (T-267/07) against a previous Commission decision, Italy will be reimbursed € 2.11 million.