The High Level Group on planting rights confirms the disastrous consequences of the liberalisation

Brussels, 6 July 2012. The High Level Group (HLG) on planting rights met today in Brussels. It examined the consequences of the disappearance of the planting rights regime as from 1 January 2016. This second meeting reinforced the fears of wine producers and highlighted the need to reconsider urgently the decision taken in 2008.

After a first meeting devoted to the presentation of the system of planting rights in several Member States, the meeting of July 6 enabled Member States and representatives of the wine sector to analyse more thoroughly the issues at stake. The discussions centred on the consequences of the end of this system based on questions asked by the European Commission.

The conclusions are crystal clear; the liberalisation would have a major impact on the sector: overproduction, falling prices, lower quality, relocation of vineyards from the slopes to the plains, industrialisation, concentration and disappearance of family farms, consequences on the environment, on regional planning, landscapes and tourism. “This meeting highlighted that the adverse effects of the liberalisation were not measured in 2008 when the decision was taken, as no impact assessment was carried out at the time. An issue that was recently singled out by the European Court of Auditors” stated Riccardo Ricci Curbastro, President of EFOW.

Two more meetings of the HLG are scheduled: one on September 21st in Sicily and one in November in Brussels to conclude the work. EFOW considers that concrete steps must be taken rapidly and that the ongoing reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) offers an ideal framework to adopt the right decision. “Faced with these potential consequences, there is a need to offer a comprehensive and effective answer to the wine sector, which provides guarantees for all categories of wines. The HLG offers an opportunity to rapidly establish a provision allowing for a balanced development of our sector which is necessary to allow wines producers to contribute significantly to the employment, growth and trade balance of the EU” concluded the President of ‘EFOW.

Note: Further to the position of 15 Member States and the European Parliament asking for the maintenance of the planting rights regime, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, D. Ciolos, announced in January 2012, the setting-up of a High Level Group that would publish its’ recommendations before December 2012.

Contacts :

Pascal BOBILLIER-MONNOT (Paris): +33142612125

José Luis LAPUENTE (Madrid): +34696795149

Pasquale DE MEO (Rome): +390644250589

Alberto RIBEIRO DE ALMEIDA (Porto): +351222071647

David BRASZIL (Budapest): +3614137527

Daniela Ida ZANDONA (Bruxelles) : +322733 50 60