THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN INDUSTRY IS FIGHTING TOGETHER TO MAINTAIN THE PLANTATION RIGHTS.
On March 19th, nine ministers of agriculture and more than 350 members of the parliament, among them national authorities and European parliament members, as well as representatives from the wine industry, including two representatives from the CECRV, gathered together at the European Parliament in Brussels to demand that the plantation rights be duly maintained.
Opposition to the liberalization of plantation rights, scheduled for January 1, 2016, continues to grow, in particular in political circles. Nine ministers of agriculture (France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Luxemburg, Malta, Rumania and Finland) and more than 350 attendees, among members of the European parliament, members of parliament and representatives of the wine industry, all gathered together to request that the European Commission review the decision that it took on this matter in the year 2008. The favorable participation of the Finnish minister on the matter is to be highlighted, despite the fact that this member state has not yet officially pronounced itself.
"We welcome the recent gestures seen from the Commission, which is apparently opening up to the matter, although even so we still need much more. Creation of a high level group to cover this subject is a positive instance, although the event that took place on March 19th comes to demonstrate the importance of the challenges we will have to confront and the need for a fast response on this matter,” affirmed Ricardo Ricci Curbastro, President of the EFOW.
The European members of parliament Astrid Lulling and Michel Dantin organized the event, and it brought together a good number of other representatives from different political parties. The European Parliament, which is the body that has the power of co-decision in all matters related with agriculture in the European Union, has duly committed to making its voice heard. Michel Dantin, lecturer on the Common Agricultural Policy Reform (PAC) for the common organization of unique markets (CMO) announced that he would be submitting an amendment in his report so that the plantation rights system will be maintained, sine die.
The representatives of the wine sector are satisfied with the commitment and good will of the ministers and representatives with decision-making capacity. “It is of vital importance that plantation rights for all wines be maintained within the context of the reform of the PAC. We need more than just discussions. A specific decision in the next few months is of paramount importance,” affirmed Ricardo Ricci Curbastro, President of the EFOW.
This battle, which is being led by the organizations that make up the EFOW, is now bearing its fruits, even if far more slowly than desired.
In fact, as of March 2nd a new country, Bulgaria, decided to join ranks, flatly refusing to support liberalization of the plantation rights.
During the meeting that was held in Paris on the past March 2nd between the agricultural representatives of France, Mr. Le Maire and his Spanish and Bulgarian counterparts, Messrs. Arias Cañete and Naydenov, to undertake the reform of the PAC, the matter of the imminent liberalization of plantation rights also came up, subject that was also discussed by them.
Upon conclusion of the meeting, the French and Spanish ministers once again reiterated their contrary position to liberalization. The Bulgarian minister, who as yet had not stated any specific position, announced on this occasion that his country would also be in opposition to liberalization of plantation rights.
To date, fifteen members have taken up positions against liberalization of plantation rights. Notwithstanding, forty votes are still needed in order to obtain a qualified majority in the Council.
Practically all the member states that produce wine have stated a specific position on the matter, as has likewise been the case with the Parliament in its great majority, AREV, COPA-COGECA, ORIGIN, political and local agencies.
In that pertaining to the Spanish scope, the Spanish Conference of Wine Regulation Councils (CECRV) is also firmly maintaining this position, which coincides with that of the professional agricultural organizations at a national level and with that of the agri-food cooperatives. As a result of these joint efforts, the conference has officially addressed Minister Arias Cañete requesting “categorical and unmistakable positioning in favor of continuity of the current regime of plantation rights for the entire vineyard reaching further beyond the year 2015, and if the case was to be as such, the year 2018”, reason why it supported “maintenance of the rights within the frame of the legislative proposal of the CMO that is included in the review of the Common Agricultural Policy.”
It is also worth highlighting that the EFOW has been invited to participate in the High Level Group, group in which the CECRV will have an active and prominent role.
Merely as a reminder, the overall count of votes in the Council would be distributed as follows:
Member states in opposition to liberalization of plantation rights:
Czech Republic 12
Slovak Republic 7
Member states that as yet have not adopted an official position are those following:
United Kingdom 29
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