EC to claim back €102M from members for improper CAP spending -

EC to claim back €102M from members for improper CAP spending

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EC to claim back €102M from members for improper CAP spending

The European Commission (EC) plans to recover €102 million (US$125 million) from three member states that it alleges unduly spent funds designed to support agricultural sectors. European_flag_in_Karlskrona_2011

The EC said money that was allocated as part of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) programs was being claimed back from Greece, Slovenia and Ireland under the 'clearance of accounts procedure'.

This procedure allows the EC to verify - primarily by on-the-spot inspections - whether member states have made correct use of the funds placed at their disposal by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

"This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure," an EC statement said.

"Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under [CAP], and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds."

Member states are responsible for managing most CAP payments, mainly via their paying agencies. They are also in charge of controls, such as verifying the farmer's claims for direct payments.

The EC carries out over 100 audits every year, verifying that its member states controls and responses to shortcomings are sufficient.

It 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.

Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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