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The Danish Rigsrevisionen audits subsidies to the fishery sector from EMFF

The Danish Rigsrevisionen has audited the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' management of support from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (the EMFF).

During the period 2014-2017 support from the EMFF made up DKK 875.4 million, of which approximately 75% was financed by the EU. Funding is allocated through 14 different programmes of which 10 concern fisheries and aquaculture, which makes up DKK 536.5 million from the EMFF support. The objective of the support is to promote competitive, environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially responsible fisheries and aquaculture and to promote the implementation of the EU's common fisheries policy.

The Danish Rigsrevisionen strongly criticize the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs' management due to:
- the ministry has failed to manage the penalty point system that is used to penalize fishing vessels when serious infringements of the fisheries rules occur. A consequence of this is that funding has been provided to fishers who would have been excluded from receiving funding had the penalty point system been managed correctly. The incorrect management of the penalty point system has also had the consequence that fishers have not been treated equally.
- the ministry has not adequately checked whether the applicants were admissible for funding, and the ministry is therefore unable to provide evidence of their admissibility.
-the ministry has interpreted the admissibility requirement incorrectly in relation to limitations. This may have discouraged fishers from applying for funding, despite the fact that they, in the assessment of rigsrevisionen, fulfilled the basic admissibility requirements.

In the light of the mismanagement the Rigsrevisionen explains that the ministry should expand their search for fraud in cases where funding has been approved.

As a result, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may have to recover payments from recipients that have not fulfilled the requirements, and financial corrections - claims for reimbursement from the EU budget - may be imposed on Denmark by the European Commission.

Based on the Rigsrevisionens audit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to conduct a thorough, external review in order to ensure compliance with EU law. The ministry will examine old cases where there is cause to consider reopening cases.

Read more about the Danish Rigsrevisionen and the audit Support to the fisheries sector from the EMFF here.