October 15, 2010

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Friday, 15 October 2010

UK fined £150.000.000 for not flying the EU Flag. 
My Research   xxxxxxxxxxxx AP
OK! This is what I have at the moment. 14.10.2010.
I have read and read every bit of EU legislation I can find on this subject and although the EU insists that the EU logo should be shown-giving dimensions etc, I note also there is nothing to prevent the UK from having a logo of the same dimensions stating it was ‘match funded’ also by the UK and/or firm.  No-where have I read that if the former is not done, that the organisation will be FINED either by the EU or UK.?  In the London ERDF programme it states, "Failure to publicise EU Funding can result in a repayment of ERDF Funds".  Maybe the thinking is that people might "love" the EU more for their generosity!  Certainly the need for publicity covers many pages although they do not say that the money provided by the EU is part of our Billions in contributions given back providing certain conditions are met. 
No-where have I read in EU papers that if the EU Logo/flag is not displayed that the organisation OR UK will be FINED?  In the Publicity – Clause 11 ERDF User Manual Chapter 3 Funding Agreements: Version 2 it states quite clearly,
Publicity – Clause 11
    1. It is very important that the use of Structural Funds across Europe is publicised and there are certain specific European Union requirements in relation to publicity and branding.  These requirements should be made available on the Agency’s website and can also be provided in hard copy to the Grant Recipient.
    2. 8.54.                Each Agency may also have their own branding requirements that it requires the Grant Recipient to follow. If so, they should be incorporated into the Funding Agreement either through the Agency’s website or as Project Specific Conditions.
    3. 8.55.    Failure to comply with the EU publicity requirements can lead to the repayment of Grant by the Grant Recipient to the Agency and by the Agency to the Commission.¹  
HOWEVER, IF YOU READ², THAT MAY BE another answer?  See what you think!
What all of us should be asking NOW though is, where has the money allegedly paid by these firms in these FINES gone to?  If the Firms paid the fines, where is that money now?  Has the EU got it? From the letter below received today (14.10.2010) the EU has not even fined the UK for not flying the EU Flag or displaying the EU Logo. Or has our own Government got it?  £150,000,000 is a great deal of money and we taxpayers should know exactly where it has gone to. We must ALL start asking more questions like this.  Write to your MP.  Make sure you find out.  
This was sent by me, to Citizen’s Direct  Date: Monday, 11/10/2010 13:55:46
Subject: [Case_ID: 318715 / 4737993] Flying the EU Flag.
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Headlines Recently in UK National Papers have been that certain UK Firms have been fined between them £150,000,000 for not flying the EU flag when they have received some of our EU Contributions back. 
This has also been denied by allegedly some-one from the EU-no name given. I would like to know the truth please. Has the EU fined either the UK or have certain organisations been fined by the EU for not flying the EU flag or showing an EU Emblem when they have received EU money back from UK Contributions?   
Thank you for your attention.
 XXXXXXXXXXXXX AP
This reply came today 14.10.2010
[Case_ID: 0318715/4737993] Flying the EU Flag.
Dear XXXXXXXXXXXXXX P

We acknowledge receipt of your e-mail and thank you for your message. Please note that the article we suppose you are referring to is misleading. In response to your enquiry we would like to inform you of the following as regards publicity rules of the European Flag for EU Structural funds funded projects and related fines: The General Regulation on the implementation of Structural Funds, which has been adopted by the Member States, requires that they comply with certain minimum requirements on publicity and this includes the display of the EU logo in a permanent plaque. The European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional Policy is satisfied with the way the UK authorities comply with publicity requirements in general and has not identified any issues relating to publicity requirements in any of the recent audits. To our knowledge this issue has not been flagged up either after audits from the EU Court of Auditors and national audit authorities. Even if some irregularities would have been identified in individual projects over the years, the amount concerned would never come anywhere near the GBP 150 million figure mentioned in media articles.
Non-respect of the publicity rules (such as making a plaque) may lead to financial corrections. However, these cases are very rare as the Member States normally adopt corrective measures themselves following the audit findings. Only in one case so far (not in the UK), where the Member State did not want to do the corrective measure, and after several interventions of the European Commission, the managing authority implementing the project to install the plaque and subsequently a financial correction of approximately 5 million Euro was made.
We hope that this information will be of use to you.
With kind regards,

EUROPE DIRECT Contact Centre

http://europa.eu
- your shortcut to the EU!

Disclaimer

Please note: We will try to ensure that you receive the information requested, or to direct you to an appropriate source. However, we are unable to comment on specific issues pertaining to EU policy, and information provided by EUROPE DIRECT may not be considered as legally binding. END.
Have the national News Papers and local Papers made all this about the EU ‘fining’ the UK, up? As certain Companies have been named and alleged amounts of fines printed that the firms had allegedly been fined, your guess is as good as mine. I have asked certain MP’s- so far no reply. Why didn’t the Government step in or MP’s?
Noted,
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles condemned the ‘over-bureaucratic rules’ surrounding ERDF money. Daily Mail. 8th July 2010.

For some the £150 million fine on the UK for not displaying the EU flag on projects which received “EU” money is the last straw”. John Redwoods’ Web-site.

Britain 'fined £150m by Brussels for failing to fly EU flag' – report Several schemes that received European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money were also penalised for failing to use the EU flag on letterheads, according to a Daily Mail report. However, the EU completely denied the report. A spokesman said: "The EU has not fined the UK GBP150m and most definitely not for 'not displaying the EU flag'. Telegraph 8 Jul 2010.

Daily Mail article by Simon McGee 15.8.2010 Firms fined £1500 million for failing to fly the EU Flag. Among the projects hit was a £3.5  million refurbishment of Whitley Bay Playhouse in North Tyneside. Some £60,000 of the EU's £626,500 contribution had to be repaid because of 'a number of failings'. Not meeting rules on publicity cost the scheme £16,450 of the total.
The YMCA in Peterborough had to repay £1,325 of a grant to help promote parenting skills, volunteering and sports among young people, again because it fell foul of the strict rules on publicity.
Organisers had not displayed the EU flag at YMCA premises or used it in publicity material.
Last month, it emerged that Brussels bureaucrats had ordered the British Government to collect an astonishing £150  million from organisations and companies because of failures to prominently display the EU flag on premises that were receiving funding. End of Quotes although there are others.
So why didn’t the Government or MP’s deny this tale if none of it was true? Will the Daily Mail correct their Story? We shall see. Anne Palmer. 14.10.2010
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