COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION of 3 February 1975 to the Member States on closer cooperation with respect to the EAGGF (Guarantee Section) operations (75/115/EEC)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and in particular Article 155 thereof;

Whereas the campaign against irregularities and fraudulent practices to the detriment of Community funds should be pursued as effectively as possible, particularly with regard to cooperation between the relevant national authorities;

Whereas the Council has not yet taken a Decision on the proposal for a Regulation on mutual assistance between competent authorities of the Member States and between the latter and the Commission for ensuring the correct application of Community customs and agriculture regulations (OJ No C 100, 22.11.1973), or on the proposal for a Directive on cooperation on the recovery of sums wrongly paid in connection with agricultural policy, agricultural levies and customs duties (Doc. COM/72/1578 fin. of 15.12.1972);

Whereas, pending adoption of these Community provisions, the practical aspects of cooperation between national authorities under existing procedures should at least be improved;

Whereas the Agreement between the Member States of the Community for cooperation between the customs administrations (the so-called "Naples" Agreement) is not in itself an instrument which can satisfactorily deal with the difficulties encountered in the campaign against irregularities and fraudulent practices to the detriment of Community funds;

Whereas it is important to obtain the cooperation of all the national authorities responsible for applying Community agricultural regulations affecting the EAGGF, Guarantee Section;

Whereas, independently of the operation of Council Regulations (EEC) No 729/70 and (EEC) No 283/72, immediate practical steps must be taken to procure without delay the necessary cooperation between the national authorities with regard to operations coming within the ambit of the Guarantee Section of the EAGGF;

Whereas, in order to facilitate cooperation between the Member States, reciprocal and direct exchanges of information should be ensured between the authorities of the various Member States on all matters relevant to the campaign against irregularities and fraudulent practices to the detriment of the EAGGF, Guarantee Section;

Whereas like action should be taken to accelerate and simplify the recovery of sums wrongly paid or not received as a result of irregularities and fraudulent practices;

Whereas Article 5 of the Treaty inter alia expressly requires Member States to facilitate the achievement of the Community's tasks;

For the reasons hereinbefore set out,

RECOMMENDS:

- that, in the case of transactions involving revenue or expenditure of the EAGGF, Guarantee Section, each Member State take the necessary internal measures to ensure that the national departments responsible for overseeing such transactions and for the elimination of irregularities and fraudulent practices, communicate to each other all the information necessary in order to verify the correctness of the sums received and payments made, to strengthen efforts to prevent, discover and suppress fraudulent practices and irregularities and to facilitate the recovery of sums wrongly paid or not received as a result of such irregularities or fraudulent practices;
- that, to the same end, each Member State take all necessary steps to enable such departments to establish direct contact with those of the other Member States;
- that each Member State inform the Commission before 31 March 1975 of the measures which it is taking to apply this recommendation.

Done at Brussels, 3 February 1975.

For the Commission

P.J. LARDINOIS

Member of the Commission