|Poland's farmers receive millions in EU funds every year|
The European Commission will not make agricultural policy fund payments to Poland after irregularities were found in the auditing of expenditures. Poland will not be able to get a refund of €34.4 million from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. This equals five percent of the spending on farmers' pensions from 2007 till 2010. The EC said that Polish audit procedures were not strict enough in checking whether people applying for early pensions had indeed been commercial-scale farmers.
The Commission's decision was preceded by a conciliation process. Polish experts attempted to convince the EC that the country had used the proper definition of agricultural activity. Now that the decision has been made, Poland may appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The biggest demand for a return of funds is €111.7 million from the United Kingdom for failing to comply with the rules on agricultural payments. Italy was second, having to return €48 million. Overall the EC blocked refunds for 22 EU countries.
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