The appeals launched by professionals, elected officials and Governments continue. After the stance taken a few days ago by Italy, Hungary and Austria, four new countries join the front of Member States opposed to the liberalisation of planting rights. Nine Agricultural Ministers have sent an official letter to Commissioner Ciolos
Brussels, 19th of April 2011. In a joint letter dated 14 April, 9 EU Agricultural Ministers (Germany, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Hungary, Austria, Portugal and Romania) expressed to the European Commission their growing concern for the wine sector given the foreseen abolition of the planting rights regime. Seeing more disadvantages than benefits, they ask Commissioner Ciolos to modify the provisions applicable to wine in the forthcoming EU reforms and in any event, before the entry into force of the liberalisation of planting rights.
Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President of EFOW, welcomed the news: “We welcome this common position expressed by 9 EU Member States. This stance is very important since not only did the Ministers express support for the prolongation of planting rights beyond the 2015 deadline on the whole of the Union’s territory but furthermore they asked to maintain the system for all categories of wines”.
EFOW stresses that this common position is important but not sufficient since we are still far from having a qualified majority in the Council. Nevertheless, these 9 member states dispose now of a blocking minority vote in case they are not given satisfaction when viticulture issues will be discussed.
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