The European Commission has officially requested Greece to modify its national legislation requiring all wine producers on the island of Samos to be members of the local wine cooperative and to deliver all their must production to the cooperative.
A complainant who applied for permission to produce independently saw his application rejected on this basis.
The Commission considers that making membership of a producer organisation compulsory contravenes the open market principle, according to which every producer has free access to the market, regulated only by the measures provided for by rules common to the sector at EU level.
The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion, which follows an unsatisfactory response from the Greek authorities to a letter of formal notice sent in 2011.
In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.