SeenewsSeenews
Search
Seenews
AlertsSeenewsSeenews
Searchclose
TOPICS
arrow
COUNTRIES
arrow
INDUSTRY
arrow
Economy
arrow
Browse Economy
Mix and match your focus countries with our advanced search
Investments
arrow
Browse Investments
Mix and match your focus countries with our advanced search
Deals
arrow
Browse Deals
Mix and match your focus countries with our advanced search
SEE TOP 100
arrow
Browse SEE TOP 100
Latest in SEE TOP 100
Tech
arrow
Browse Tech
Mix and match your focus countries with our advanced search
Green
arrow
Browse Green
Mix and match your focus countries with our advanced search
0/5
You have 5 free articles left this month
You have 0/5 free articles
Sign up to get 5 more free articles this month
SIGN UP
arrow
LOGIN
arrow

EU halts all IPARD payments to Albania over spending irregularities

Jun 25, 2024, 1:02:15 PMArticle by Genta Hodo
share
June 25 (SeeNews) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it has suspended the reimbursement of all the funds and paused all measures under its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Rural Development (IPARD) to Albania since July 2023, amid an investigation of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) for spending irregularities.

EU halts all IPARD payments to Albania over spending irregularities
EU Commission headquarters in Brussels; Author: Radomir Ralev

The Commission has initiated a procedure with the Albanian authorities to ensure that appropriate remedial actions are put in place as soon as possible, Olof Gill, Commission spokesperson for trade and agriculture, said in an emailed statement to SeeNews.

“As we are dealing with the EU tax payers’ money, we expect the Albanian authorities to take this issue very seriously,” he added. “The European Union is ready to continue supporting the Albanian farmers, agri-food sector and rural areas in the future, provided that the financial interests of the European Union are duly protected.”

Irregularities found included applicants paying part of their grant to a pre-picked local consultancy, contracts awarded through rigged processes, inflated prices, and breaches of contractual rules, OLAF’s annual report, published last week, shows.

The Commission said it received OLAF’s final report in August 2023, and in line with bilateral agreements, immediately contacted the Albanian authorities.

The European Union has allocated 71 million euro ($76.2 million) for the second stage of IPARD (IPARD II) in Albania, for the period 2014-2020, according to the Albanian agriculture ministry.

In April last year, EU announced some 112 million euro for IPARD III programmes in Albania for the 2021-2027 period.

($ = 0.932 euro)

Your complete guide to the emerging economies of Southeast Europe. From latest news to bespoke research – the big picture at the tip of your fingers.