DISGRACE: Now EU wastes £450 million on 'profligate' scheme to improve trees
Date published: 26th September 2013
The European Court of Auditors said the forestry scheme was riddled with "deficiencies in the programme across the board".
And it was not possible to tell whether the grants had helped because member states were not even required to value the forests before getting the money.
The ECA found that grants were made over the past five years to projects that were not eligible for the cash.
And it said the costly scheme went ahead even though the EU had not analysed the forestry sector "so as to justify specific financial support aimed at improving the economic value of forests".
Yet the European Commission wants to offer the same support for trees and forestry over the next six years.
The damning report is just the latest blow to the EU's financial credibility. The ECA has not been able to sign off the EU's annual accounts - now involving £110billion a year - for nearly two decades amid allegations of fraud and irregularities
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