The European Commission wants the Czech Republic to return 1.16 billion crowns paid out in agricultural subsidies, iROZHLAS.cz reports.
The sanction is based on an audit that took place three years ago. At the time, the auditors examined the introduction of the so-called active farmer institute to determine whether the subsidies were actually used by farmers. According to the EC, the control to which European money was allocated was insufficient. The Ministry of Agriculture disagrees with the outcome of the review and wants to dispute the final amount, so it will request a conciliation procedure.
In September 2017, Brussels examined whether the Czech authorities checked whether the subsidies were actually used by farmers. In 2015, the so-called active farmer instituted. According to him, only applicants who actually made a living from the agricultural sector could benefit from EU support. The aim was to prevent subsidies from being paid to entrepreneurs who are not actually engaged in agriculture.