Allegrini 2018

First answers to US wine duties from Brussels, in the name of simplification

European co-funding for promotion at 60% and start the 5-year constraint. De Castro: “now a specific fund”. In France, a clash on aid

To increase from 50 to 60% the European co-financing for the CMO promotion programs, with the possibility to modify them and extend them beyond the current limit of 5 years: this is the first response from Brussels, with two proposals for simplification, which have already obtained the green light from the European Agricultural Ministers, waiting for the conclusion of the debate in the Agriculture Commission, to the US duties on wine triggered in October 2019, which affected the production of France, Spain, and Germany, saving, at least for now, Italian wine production. A first step, but certainly not enough to guarantee stability and certainty to a sector that remains at the mercy, on the most important non-European market, of the Washington decisions.
“The aid and flexibility measures proposed by the European Commission to strengthen programs to promote the wine sector are a breath of fresh air for our producers. But now we want to act quickly and proceed with implementation, also because the EU Commission has accepted our main request and that of the sector, to extend the measure to all wines and not just those affected by US tariffs,” commented Paolo De Castro, S&D coordinator at the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee. The important thing now,” added De Castro, “is to intervene with new measures and a specific fund to strengthen the promotion measures of all those sectors that have been affected by Trump’s duties, and not leave our producers alone, who have been put in difficulty this year also because of the harmful consequences of climate change that have endangered their income and economic prospects for the future”.
It is certainly not enough for the winemakers of France, who last week, with their representatives of the sector, met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, asking for an ad hoc compensation fund, estimated as early as October last year at 250 million euros, equal to 25% of the annual turnover on the US market of French still wines. The request - at least for now and in these terms - has been sent back to the sender by the Ministry, but it has also been sent to the European Commission, where the time frame risks being too long. “It’s difficult to achieve anything in Europe, also because in 6 months it risks being too late,” explains Didier Josso, delegate of the wine supply chain, who then hurls himself against the Paris government. “If the State has paid, or is paying, illegal subsidies to Airbus, it must take responsibility for the side effects, including those we are paying”.

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