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What is the current situation of the European Union's wine sector?
The EU is a leading producer of wine. Producing some 175m hl every year, it accounts for 45% of wine-growing areas, 65% of production, 57% of global consumption and 70% of exports in global terms.
Since the introduction of the common market organisation (CMO), the wine market has developed considerably. In brief, it has been characterised by a very short initial period of equilibrium, followed by a very marked increase in production against a constant level of demand, and finally, a continuous decline and a very noticeable qualitative change in demand from the 1980s. These changes have been dealt with by significantly developing the CMO.
It started out very liberal, with no curbs on plantings and very few market regulation instruments (the aim being to confront the annual variations in production). It then coupled freedom on plantings with the virtually guaranteed sales, thus generating serious structural surplus. From 1978 it became very interventionist with the ban on planting and the obligation to distil the surplus. Towards the end of the 80s financial incentives for giving up vineyards were reinforced.
The 1999 reform of the CMO for wine strengthened the goal of achieving a better balance between supply and demand on the Community market, giving producers the chance to bring production into line with a market demanding higher quality and to allow the sector to become competitive in the long term - especially in the face of increased global competition following GATT - by financing the restructuring of a large part of present vineyards.
This reform proved insufficient to reduce wine surpluses and considerable sums still had to be spent on disposing of them. A new reform of the wine market was needed.
The reform adopted by the EU in 2008 has the following goals:
After 2015, current EU restrictions on planting vines will be lifted, enabling competitive producers to increase production.
Labelling of allergens - authorized languages - Information communicated by Member States as regards the authorised languages for the labelling of allergens and Terms referred to in Article 51 of Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 that may be used [pdf]
Reports and studies:
"Results of the accession negotiations - wine" [pdf] (07/2003)
"Results of the accession negotiations - spirits" [pdf] (07/2003)
"Study on the use of the varieties of interspecific vines"[pdf, 2.7 MB!] (07/2003)
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