CAP post-2020 | EFOW is satisfied with the proposals on quality policy, cautious about planting authorisations and wine programmes & against granting the term wine to alcohol-free products

Brussels, 1 June 2018.

Following the publication of the European Commission proposals on a CAP reform, EFOW, the European Federation of Original Wines (, is positioning itself on the major challenges for the future of wine appellations.

The CAP post-2020 legislative proposals published today by the European Commission include major changes to the European wine policy, particularly for wines with a Geographical Indication (GI). More specifically, the European Commission proposes to :

  • simplify the quality policy;
  • strengthen the protection of GI wines with regard to goods in transit in the EU and those sold online;
  • modify the definition of appellations of origin to allow producers to experiment with resistant vine varieties and better cope with climate change;
  • maintain dynamic measures and actions specific to viticulture;
  • introduce changes in the production potential regulation tool;
  • introduce two new categories of “wines”: dealcoholised wines and low-alcohol wines.

EFOW’s President, Mr. Bernard Farges, explains: “GI wine producers welcome the Commission’s proposals on the management of quality wines and the improvement of their protection against usurpation by products in transit in the EU and on the Internet. We wish to congratulate the Commission for offering quality wine makers new instruments to deal with environmental challenges and climate change. We are also pleased that our national wine programs will be maintained in the framework of Member States future strategic plans. However, at this stage, we remain concerned about their level of funding as this will have an impact on the competitiveness of our sector. As for the proposal to modify the system of vine planting authorisations, we remain cautious as we still need to measure its possible impact on the growth of the EU’s vineyards. Finally, we are very surprised by the Commission’s willingness to question the definition of wine by authorising non-alcoholic or low-alcohol products to bear this term. This is not acceptable. We will work with Member States and the European Parliament in the coming months to improve these proposals. Our objective is clear: to secure the adoption of a regulatory framework allowing European GI wine producers to strengthen their global leadership in the quality wine segment.”


European Commission proposals for the CAP post-2020: what are the proposals that will affect the wine sector?

What are the main novelties proposed by the European Commission on the quality wine policy front?

  • The PDO wine definition is enlarged to include hybrids: “vine varieties belonging to Vitis vinifera or a cross between the Vitis vinifera species and other species of the genus Vitis”. This will allow PDO wine producers to experiment with resistant vine varieties to better cope with climate change.
  • New simplified procedure for the registration of Geographical Indication (GI) wines specifications, which should allow producers to innovate more rapidly. More notably the proposal:
    • the idea that the scrutiny by the Commission shall consist of examination of the application for manifest errors;
    • and that such scrutiny should not exceed a period of six months from the date of receipt of the application.
  • A greater protection of GI wines that will also apply to goods which are in transit in the Union customs territory and to goods which are sold over the internet or by other means of electronic commerce.

Are Wine National Support Programmes preserved in the new CAP reform?

In the framework of the last reform of the wine sector in 2008, a new instrument to boost the competitiveness of the European wine sector on the global scale was established in the context of the Single CMO: the Wine National Support Programmes (WNSP). Wine producing Member States received EU funds for specific measures to assist the wine sector through a five-year support programmes. Examples of such funded actions are: promoting European wines on third-country markets, restructuring and conversion of vineyards, harvest insurance etc.

In the proposed CAP reform, WNSP although excluded from the Single CMO are maintained in a new Regulation: the CAP Plan Regulation.

The text sets out objectives which Member States may pursue (ex. to increase the marketability and competitiveness) & the type of interventions which they may pursue (ex. restructuring and conversion, promotion etc.). Wine producing Member States will need to maintain these wine programmes with a specific amount of funding. In this new framework a new measure is proposed: the preparation of technical files to facilitate access to third countries.

What is still unknown to date is the exact amount of funding that will be available for the wine sector as this will depend on the overall CAP budget that will be defined in the Multiannual Financial Framework which is being negotiated.

Is the system of vine planting authorisations maintained? And If so, what does the European Commission propose?

The system introduced in the 2013 CAP reform is maintained. The European Commission proposes to give Member States two options to allow them to calculate the hectares corresponding to 1% of planted vines on their territory. Member States shall make available each year authorisations for new plantings corresponding to either:

  • 1% of the total area actually planted with vines in their territory, as measured on 31 July of the previous year (as it is today), or
  • 1% of an area comprising the area actually planted with vines in their territory, as measured on 31 July 2015, and the area covered by planting rights granted to producers in their territory and available for conversion into authorisations on 1 January 2016.

According to the European Commission this new method of calculating the area to be planted should allow the EU to respond to the decrease of the actual areas planted with vines in several Member States in the years 2014-2017 and limit the risk of production potential loss in those Member States.

What are the new categories of wines proposed by the reform?

In its’ proposal the European Commission proposes to create two new types of wines: de-alcoholised and partially de-alcoholised wines. The first, should have an alcoholic strength of no more than 0,5% by volume, whereas the latter should have a total alcoholic strength of more than 0,5% by volume and following the processes laid down in the Regulation its total alcoholic strength is reduced by more than 20% by volume compared to its initial total alcoholic strength.