After more than two years of discussions, the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the European Parliament have finally reached an agreement on the future Common Agricultural Policy. The agreement safeguards the existence of a regulatory mechanism for planting rights within the EU until 2030. The new system will allow new vine plantings to be managed for all wine categories with a maximum increase of 1% per annum. Industry leaders in France are hailing the decision to retain planting rights: “the agreement reached today (26-06-13) on the future CAP is excellent news for the European wine industry. It offers new prospects for development that will allow us to further increase our contribution to the economy of individual regions and the EU balance of trade”.
At European level, major wine companies belonging to industry group CEEV have hailed the new CAP agreement and said it welcomes the inclusion of new eligible, dynamic measures in the national support programmes aimed at improving key aspects for the competitiveness of EU wine companies – innovation, environmental sustainability and promotion in the internal market of moderate and responsible patterns of wine consumption. The agreement also confirms the orientations and provisions agreed in the 2008 wine reform, i.e. regarding labelling and wine making practices. The group also said that it welcomed the “compromise reached for a new temporary framework for vine plantings that will replace the current planting rights system and put an end to the former prohibitionist approach, thus confirming that liberty of planting remains the principle laid down in the CMO. The new scheme aims at allowing an orderly growth of the EU vineyard in order to match the dynamic market evolution and calls explicitly on member states to take into account the recommendations from the industry. This new system will replace the existing scheme of planting rights in 2016 by individual non-transferable authorisations for new plantings allocated by member states according to criteria that must be objective and non discriminatory”.
Jose Ramon Fernandez, secretary general of the CEEV, said however, “We regret the lack of ambition for EU wines shown by some member states during the debates, as the annual growth limitation capped at 1 percent at EU level will not be enough to compensate for the ‘natural’ trend in vineyard reduction, taking into account the structure and demographics of the wine sector that will accelerate this trend. The EU cannot just leave the markets to our competitors and limit itself to managing the decadence of EU leadership in the global wine market”.