European Commission wants its money back, and €1m is from Ireland

A total of €102 million of EU agricultural policy funds, unduly spent by Member States, is being claimed back by the European Commission from Greece, Ireland and Slovenia under the so-called clearance of accounts procedure.

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 European 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, 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.

The European Commission is looking for a total of €1.06m back from Ireland.

In Ireland’s case, it relates to fruit and vegetables and the correction proposed for absence of of checks on compliance with recognition criteria.

Greece is set to repay some €92m for issues around export refunds, livestock premiums, area aid and late payments.