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10 July 2014|Finance,News

Commission to recover €57m of CAP expenditure


A total of €57 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 €52 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.

Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from 15 Member States: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and the UK.

Within this global figure of €57 million, the most significant individual correction is €20.04 million charged to France for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements.

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.

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