In Romania, the take-up of European funding in the wine sector has fallen from 100% in 2014 to around 10% today. According to the National Winegrowers’ Association, this alarming reduction can be principally attributed to the legislative drafting requirements of the Court of Auditors. Following inspections of the Agricultural Payments and Interventions Agency (APIA) and the managing authorities of the operational programmes, the recommendations by the Court of Auditors have proved to be unrealistic, hampering and even preventing the work of these organisations. This purely theoretical interpretation goes far beyond what is required by European regulations and directives, imposing much more stringent conditions.
In the absence of specialist knowledge or experience of the wine sector, such bureaucratic adherence to the letter of the law is resulting in major obstacles when it comes to obtaining EU funding. This in turn is slowing down the take-up of funding and increasing institutional obstacles.
What instruments does the Commission have at its disposal to overcome such obstacles, thereby increasing the take-up of funding in the wine sector and elsewhere?