The European Commission applied financial corrections of EUR 139 million to Romania last year, more than double from the total of EUR 53 million in 2011, according to the financial report for 2012, recently published by the international institution.
The programmes financed through the European Social Fund were target of the largest corrections – EUR 81 M, while the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund underwent corrections worth EUR 24 M. The programmes financed through the European Regional Development Fund saw corrections of EUR 22 Mm, while rural development was reduced by EUR 12 M.
The highest financial correction was applied to Spain – EUR 2.1 billion, followed by Italy with EUR 275 million, Greece with EUR 262 million and Poland with total financial corrections of EUR 162 million, Romania is the 5th. No financial correction was applied to Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia in 2012.
The sums will not be refunded by the member states, as they will be kept by the EC from the payments made to national governments, after they send statements of expenditures to Brussels. The figures are provisional, until the European Court of Auditors releases its report.
Nevertheless, according to the same EC’s financial report for 2012, Romania ranks 12th among top beneficiaries of EU funds, with almost EUR 4 billion absorbed last year, while the main beneficiary was Poland, with EUR 15.7 billion received from the European Commission. Poland was followed by Spain and France.
Romania’s contribution to the EU budget in 2012 amounted to EUR 1.32 bln. With the nearly EUR 4 bln it absorbed, Romania ranks among the net beneficiaries of European funding.
When the amount of EU funding is adjusted to the country’s gross national income, Estonia is the main beneficiary, followed by Latvia and Lithuania. Germany remains the main beneficiary of EU funds in areas such as research and innovation, while Poland has benefited the most of cohesion funding. France was the most important beneficiary in terms of agricultural funds, followed by Germany, Spain and Italy, while the Netherlands was the main beneficiary in the area of ??freedom, security and justice. Italy, followed by Belgium, ranks first in terms of funds received from the EU in the ‘citizenship’ area. The member states hit by crisis (Greece, Portugal and Spain) are among the main beneficiaries in 2012, while Sweden, Denmark and Germany are the most important net contributors.