The View from Europe: A total of €335m of EU agricultural policy funds, unduly spent by member states, is being claimed back by the European Commission today.

However, because some of these amounts have already been recovered from the member states the financial impact of today’s decision will be some €304m.

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: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic,Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden.

According to the commission, the most significant individual corrections are: €141.8m charged to France for weaknesses related to cross-compliance; €78.8m charged to Greece for weaknesses related to deficiencies in allocation of entitlements; €24.3m charged to the Netherlands for weakness in functioning of LPIS, in on-the-spot checks and in calculation of payments and sanctions; €22.2m charged to Greece for weaknesses related to cross-compliance; and € 17.7m charged to France for weaknesses related to the recognition of producers organisations of fruit and vegetables. Ireland’s correction is listed as a mere €40,000 for exceeding financial ceilings.

The announcement was made this morning.