Following the steps taken by the European wine sector’s politicians and professionals, represented within the Assembly of European Wine Regions (AREV), with the different representatives with the capacity to take measures to activate an extraordinary budget for the recovery of the wine sector and, after yesterday’s meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, without any clear conclusions in this respect, the AREV regrets that the measures being adopted in this respect are insufficient to have a balancing impact on the lives of our fellow citizens, winegrowers and the players involved in the wine sector. 

The deteriorating situation of the wine sector resulting from trade tensions, mainly between the EU and the United States, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the passing of the Arctic cold snap, as an exceptional situation, requires exceptional measures from the European Commission, which can only be achieved with political will.

The progress made in the discussions on the new CAP is necessary, with a view to the launch of the new CAP in 2023, but also, in parallel, the needs of this sector, endorsed by a representation of regions that produce more than 96% of the EU’s wine, must be addressed.

It is in these difficult times, such as the one the wine sector is going through, that unity, support from the institutions, and courage in decision-making are needed.  Decision-making based on objective data and on listening to the different stakeholders is, without doubt, the true reflection of the success or failure of the work of the elected managers at the head of the institutions, in this case, the European institutions.

From the AREV we would like to express our firm support for the joint declaration made last Friday, 23 April, by the Spanish, French, and Italian wine trade organisations, which is in line with the demands that this organisation has been making since last summer.

We would also like to state, concerning the actions proposed by the Commission within the framework of the “farm to table” and biodiversity strategies and the EU plan to combat cancer, that they are in line with a positive logic in the necessary management to be done: to improve the quality of the products made available to the consumer and to protect the health of our fellow citizens.  However, AREV cannot accept that wine sector products should be stigmatised by being included on lists of harmful or banned products, or even denied access to certain subsidies.

Wine is a product that is part of the history, traditions, and DNA of European culture.  It is part of and shapes our landscapes, it is the backbone of our rural territory, generating a socio-economic activity that keeps our villages alive and slows down depopulation.  It is also part of the Mediterranean diet, recognised by the World Health Organisation and, consumed in moderation, contributes to one of the healthiest eating styles on the planet and has also been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

For all these reasons, the European institutions must listen carefully to the demands made by this sector, for which AREV will be at their disposal to channel and dynamise the alternatives that they put forward, through the political and professional spheres of the European wine-growing regions.