The European Commission decided on Wednesday to impose an one month deadline for Romania, urged to solve its problems in the agriculture field. The officials say that Romania may gain an one month postponement of the deadline in case the listed problems seem close to solving. In case the necessary measures aren’t taken in time, Romania will see the safeguarding clauses activated by default.
“The European Commission sent an official letter, informing Romanian officials that they risk having the funds cut by 25%, in case problems noted in the management system and financial control aren’t solved in time”, an EC press release reads.
According to the accession treaty, EU may reduce its payments for agriculture 25%. The payments should begin on December 1, with an annual rate growing from 202 million euros in 2008 to 492 millions in 2013.
The problems identified by European experts refer to:
- IACS (the Integrated Administration and Control System), where the database and data control software has severe malfunctions;
- The statements made by farmers about the surface they demand “cash per hectare” payments don’t correspond to the field data. “Lots limits are instable or unclear”, experts say. Issues like having several financing demands for the same surface or having larger areas declared, so that the financing would also grow, are common.
Romania may lose up to 100 million euros in case the safeguarding clause on Agriculture is activated.
Former Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur considers that the ultimatum has nothing to do with his activity, invoking an audit with good results in spring 2007.