France has been hit with a €230 million CAP fine for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements.
The fine makes up the majority of the €318 million CAP expenditure recovered by the Commission. 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.
However, because some of these amounts have already been recovered from the Member States the financial impact of today’s decision will be some €315 million.
Under this latest decision, funds will be recovered from 11 Member States: Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland and UK. The most significant individual corrections are:
- € 238.90 million charged to France for weaknesses related to the allocation of entitlements
- € 12.94 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 subsidised loans.
- Following the European Court judgement against a previous Commission decision, Italy will be reimbursed € 2.11 million.
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.