Proposals from the European Commission for a ‘simplification’ of the wine legislation: EFOW denounces a hidden reform of the sector

The European Federation of Origin Wines, denounces the so-called simplification of the wine legislation by the Commission. EFOW members believe that through delegated and implementing acts the Commission is seeking to undermine the delicate balances of the last wine reform and continues to dismantle the specific regulations that apply to the sector.

The European Commission has put on the table several draft delegated and implementing acts that directly affect the wine sector. Specifically, it proposes to dismantle the basic text, Regulation n°607/2009 on protected designations of origin, protected geographical indications, traditional terms and labelling, by scattering some of these provisions in several texts that are sometimes of horizontal nature. Moreover, the Commission omits a number of rules that apply to the sector, especially for origin wines. Other draft texts should follow in the coming months.

EFOW’s President, Mr Bernard Farges, explains that “this approach complicates the legislation for operators instead of simplifying it. How can the substitution of a single text by many, moreover with separate discussions, simplify things? There is a real lack of clarity for the time being “.

In addition, Mr Farges denounces that “the Commission, under cover of simplifying our legislation, is taking another step towards the deregulation of the sector. Deregulation that would allow wines without a Geographical Indication (GI) to label certain particulars reserved to origin wines. We no longer find in the texts some essential elements such as the ban on wines without a GI to indicate a smaller geographical origin than the Member State. Furthermore, we note that there is a whole series of in depth changes to the current legislation which regards for instance traditional terms, wine grape varieties, bottle shapes and many other topics. Through a so-called simplification, the Commission is undermining the political balance of the 2008 and 2013 reforms and continues dismantling the specific regulations applicable to the sector, and this without a political mandate“.

EFOW calls upon the Council and the European Parliament to ask the European Commission to review its working methods and to respect the balance of 2008 and 2013 reforms.