Wines: The spectrum of the liberalisation of planting rights in the news again

Brussels, March 11th 2013. A key week for the planting rights dossier. Despite the consensus reached on December 14 between the European Commission and the Member States the liberalisation spectrum is resurfacing in the context of the discussions held on the modalities of the new regime. This week will be crucial with the vote on the CAP in the European Parliament and discussions at the Council. Wine producers are particularly critical of the proposed timeframe for the new regime.

Last December, wine producers expressed their satisfaction with the conclusions of the High Level Study Group on planting rights. However, they warned that they would stay very attentive on the discussions regarding the implementation of the new measures. The draft project, inspired by the European Commission and currently discussed at the Council, foresees the upholding of a management system for planting rights in the European Union but only until 2021.

Winemakers are worried that the liberalisation of planting rights could be back on the agenda of the Commission. “The current regime of planting rights should end on December 31 2015 at the European level and at the latest on December 31 2018 in the Member States which have chosen to pursue its implementation. The proposal tabled by the Commission would introduce a new system which would end in 2021 that is to say only 3 years after the current one. This is not satisfactory. The Commission and the Members States underlined on December 14 “the absolute necessity to regulate all plantations of vineyard”. We are now asking for the words to be turned into actions and for the regime that will be proposed to be either permanent or established for a much longer period of time” declared Riccardo RICCI CURBASTRO, President of EFOW, the European Federation of Origin Wines’.

EFOW calls on the Members of the European Parliament to confirm this week the vote of the Agriculture committee vote which supported the maintenance of planting rights until 2030. Winemakers urge the MEPs to use their co-legislator’s power to impose a necessary and significant modification to the European Commission’s project notably with regard to the duration of the new regime. “We have always appreciated the support of MEPs on the issue of planting rights; in 2008, the European Parliament was the only institution that opposed the proposed planting rights’ liberalisation. As a co-legislator, it has now the power to influence the ongoing discussions on the topic. The vote that will take place this week during the plenary session will be very important. It will be interesting to see how the Commission and the Council will take into account the position of the EU institution elected directly by citizens, in the final stage of the legislative process” added Riccardo RICCI CURBASTRO.