Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

House of Lords against EU reforms

Published:  23 July, 2008

The UK House of Lords European Union Committee is to oppose key proposals in the draft EU wine regime announced by the European Commission on July 4.

Lord Sewel, who chaired the inquiry, said: "The Commission proposals are long overdue. The present pattern of subsidies is not just a burden on the EU taxpayer: it is also damaging the industry by deflecting attention from the real problem from the real problem, which is a lack of competitiveness.

"Some of the best wine in the world is produced in Europe, but many of its producers are out of touch with what their customers want and they are losing out to New World suppliers, who are more attuned to the changing market in wine."

The draft EU wine reform document proposed: an end to all subsidised distillation; grubbing up 200,000 hectares including resettlement grants from farmers who give up wine growing; relaxation of the present rules on the labelling of European wines; an extension the current ban on new plantings; the abolition of subsidies for the use of grape must to enrich wine; a ban on the use of sucrose for enrichment; and a campaign to promote sales on EU wine outside the Community.

Rooker said in general, he supports the reforms, but will fight the areas of concern, including the ban on planting and use of sucrose as an enrichment.