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The Assembly of the European Wine Regions takes stock at its 28th Plenary Session and guides its future actions to boost the European wine sector

The AREV held its general assembly on Thursday 26th November in a virtual way, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
During this plenary session, over 50 authorities and representatives of the European wine regions shared the deep concern of the sector, which was already in crisis before the pandemic.  No one could have imagined a year ago the additional consequences that COVID-19 would have for the wine sector.
 
The revival of the sector following the containment measures to curb COVID-19 and its effects, the reform of the CAP, American tariffs, digitisation and precision viticulture, new breeding techniques (NBT), labelling, steeply sloped vineyards, border taxes for intra-European trade, and many other issues affecting the European wine-growing regions have taken up a large part of this session of the AREV, an organisation that has the unique feature of including political and interprofessional representation, bringing together the presidents of the European regions and, within the framework of a professional body (European Professional Wine Council – CEPV), the professional organisations.
 
The AREV Plenary Session was supported by many leading authorities on the European political scene, including Ms Julia Klöckner, Minister for Agriculture of Germany, the country currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and the Opening session continued with the presence and participation of personalities such as the President of Castilla-La Mancha and President of the AREV, Emiliano García-Page Sánchez, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Janusz Wojciechowski, and the Member of the European Parliament, Anne Sander and Paolo De Castro. 
 
Both the European Commission, through its Commissioner Mr Wojciechowski, and the European Parliament, through Ms Sander and Mr De Castro, were unanimous in thanking the AREV for its action, as a “privileged” and indispensable partner for the return of wine growing regions.
 
During this plenary session, the President of the AREV, Emiliano García-Page Sánchez, and his First Vice-President, and also President of the CEPV, Aly Leonardy, reviewed the actions carried out by the Organisation since the last plenary session held in the Azores, setting out 5 short, medium and long term objectives : Recovery of COVID-19, CAP, trade, climate change, and consumers. Mr. Aly Leonardy, President of CEPV presented the ambitious programme of the AREV for the coming years.
 
The region of Castilla-La Mancha, which will hold the presidency of the AREV for the next two years, was unanimously re-elected and is represented by its president, Emiliano García-Page Sánchez. This region has led the organisation since 2017.  The new Secretary General, Francisco Martínez Arroyo, the current Minister of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, was also unanimously elected, following the retirement of Alain d’Anselme.
 
The Director of the OIV, Pau Roca, in his speech, invited the AREV to participate in the joint construction of a wine pavilion at the next Universal Exhibition to be held in OSAKA in 2025. For his part, the President of the COPA-COGECA wines, Thierry Coste, reminded the Presidents of the regions of the uniqueness of European wine-growing areas and their responsibility to support the welfare provided by Europe to maintain wine-growing in Europe. Yves Madre, President of FARM EUROPE, also spoke about the challenges to be faced by the wine sector.
 
Finally, the plenary session was closed by the Senior Expert and Coordinator of the Wine Sector at the “Wine, alcohol and horticultural products” group of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, Linda Mauperon, and MEP Paolo De Castro, who highlighted the great work that the AREV does to defend the interests of the European wine regions.