Commissioner Ciolos tackles delays in European funds disbursements in letter to Romania

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European Commissioner for Agriculture Dacian Ciolos addressed Romania a letter in connection with the country’s falling behind schedule with the implementation of the Action Plan for the remedy of deficiencies in the operation of the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), the system through which the Payments and Intervention Agency in Agriculture (APIA) disburses European subsidies from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, informs a release of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR).

The letter was received Friday and is the European Commission’s response to the latest quarterly report for 2009 submitted by APIA on January 14, 2010 to the EC, and which shows that Romania has exceeded some of the deadlines committed to under the Action Plan for the remedy of deficiencies in the operation of the IACS, worked out and agreed upon with the European Commission in 2009.

Commissioner Ciolos asks Minister of Agriculture Mihail Dumitru to attach particular priority to the due completion of all tasks assumed. According to the cited source, EC will provide all the assistance required for Romania’s successfully carrying out this action plan, but reminds that the correct and timely implementation falls upon the Romanian authorities.

“The new team that took over at the helm of the Ministry of Agriculture has already reached measures to speed up the implementation of the milestones set forth in the relevant action plan,’ reads the MADR release.
As of 2007, Romania has been benefiting from EU funding for agriculture in the form of direct payments per surface. Direct payments represent the support made available by the EU to Romanian farmers who are now eligible and apply for payment per surface.

An essential requirement the Romanian state needs to meet in order to be able to absorb the funds earmarked for direct payments is to set a system in place whereby to ensure the management and rigorous control of the farmers’ applications for payment. This is the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), and devising, implementing and managing it is the responsibility of the Payments and Intervention Agency for Agriculture (APIA).

The following per surface payment schemes are managed under the IACS: the single payment scheme per surface; the complementary direct national payments; the payments to disadvantaged areas; agri-environmental measures; the energy crops scheme; and starting 2008, transitional payments for tomatoes.

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