EU gives deadline to Romania to avoid farm payment cut

In Hungary

The European Commission decided to give Romania a new deadline for the full and final accreditation of the Agriculture Payment and Intervention Agency (APIA), prolonging the term until December 16, an EC press release informs.

According to the document, the European institution will decide on December 20 whether the safeguarding clause for Agriculture is activated or not. Brussels officials hailed the progress made by Romania in implementing the agriculture payment system, but demanded supplementary efforts for improving the IT system, in order to avoid the 25% decrease of payments made for agriculture. “We’re talking about a round figure of about €180 million that might be withheld from Romania (next year),” Commission agriculture spokesman Michael Mann told a news conference. To avoid sanctions, the Commission said Romania should upgrade its computerized animal and database and fix software designed to ensure that no payments are made to farmers before necessary checks.

Romania announced it will not make any large scale payments before the necessary checks are made and proved that it made functional its software module. The software was evaluated by an independent auditor, who found important flaws, this leading to the continuation of the procedures for the application of a safeguarding clause. Romania has until December 15 to ensure the full accreditation of APIA, based on an independent auditor’s report, the release informs. (hotnews.ru, GR)

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