Bulgaria among Top 6 in EU Funds Fraud - EC Report

Bulgaria in EU | November 2, 2010, Tuesday // 11:55|  views

The EC report "Fight Against Fraud"shows suspected fraud and irregularities in cohesion policy have reached EUR 1.2 B in 2009. File photo

A new European Commission report has revealed that the amount of EU funding lost in fraud and "irregular payments" in 2009 almost doubled to reach EUR 1.3 B.

Data from the report was published on the online news site theparliament.com.

An estimated one EUR in every five handed out in aid was said to be "siphoned off by corrupt officials," the report shows while a staggering two-thirds of alleged EU fraud concerns just six countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain.

The revelations came after EU leaders agreed to a 2.9% increase in the EU budget for 2011 and as Member States introduce tough austerity measures.

Some examples of EU funds fraud, listed in the report include claims for a lemon and orange grove orchard that did not actually exist on the Italian island of Sicily or payment of thousands of EUR to livestock owners in Slovenia for "non-existent" cattle.

According to the European commission's "Fight Against Fraud" report, irregularities in the common agricultural policy (CAP), which accounts for about half the EU budget, cost EUR 1.2 B, up 23%.

The worst area for fraud in 2009 was the cohesion policy, where funds go to Europe's poorest regions and which takes up more than one third of the whole EU budget. Suspected fraud and irregularities in this area was EUR 1.2 B, up 109%.

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Tags: CAP, common agricultural policy, cohesion policy, irregularities, fraud, "Fight Against Fraud", EC report


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