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DECLARATION OF THE PRESIDENTS OF EUROPEAN WINE-GROWING REGIONS CONCERNING PLANTATION RIGHTS BRUSSELS, 7.11.2012
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THE TERRITORIES SAY NO TO THE DISMANTLEMENT OF EUROPEAN WINE-GROWING! Plantation rights are an instrument that regulates the production potential. They cost nothing for European tax payers, are part of a dynamic thrust for sustainable development and have a real social dimension. For this reason the regions, which are "the wine-growing territories" par excellence, wish to remind the European Commission of the objectives of the CAP (Article 33 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community) and of its own "Europe 2020" strategy to develop growth that is "intelligent, sustainable and inclusive", whereas its wine-growing policy is in direct conflict with the territorial expectations of communities and civil society.

***** Whereas the decision made in 2008 to make plantation rights completely free over the full territory of the European Union as of 1 January 2016;

Whereas the cultivation of vines, since the 1930s in certain member states and since 1970 in the European Union, has been regulated by plantation rights; Whereas plantation rights are the "cornerstone" of the European wine-growing model, which has enabled the development of economic activities that are considerable, diversified and sustain the rural fabric in zones with no alternative production;

Whereas this instrument has no impact on the community budget – unlike the costly massive uprooting measures engaged between 2008 and 2011; Given the disastrous consequences that liberalization of plantation would have for the economy of our territories, peripheral employment, the rural development, landscapes, tourism and the environment: overproduction, falling prices, reduced quality, loss of reputation, the disappearance of family concerns, relocation of vineyards to plains, concentration and industrialization of the sector;

Given the very keen worries that this decision provokes among wine-growers and the elected representatives of the territories in question, and more largely among citizens and consumers, for whom the current PDO/PGI is a guarantee of traceability regarding the origin of what they drink; Given the initiatives already engaged on the ground before the deadline of 1 January 2016 (speculation, land purchasing in plains, etc.) and the growing worries of wine-growers, particularly among the young, concerning their near future;

Given the Special Report No. 7/2012 rendered 12 June 2012 by the European Court of Auditors on the progress of the wine sector CMO in which the Commission is reproached with not having conducted an in-depth evaluation of the possible consequences of the abolition of plantation rights;

Whereas, as amply demonstrated by the independent scientific study of Professor Etienne Montaigne, the organization of production potential does not constitute a brake for the development of wine-growing or discourage young wine-growers (several tens of thousands of hectares of rights distributed over the last ten years), but judicial management means being able to maintain a balance between the offer and the demand;

Whereas almost all member state producers and the majorities of the European Parliament, the Committee of Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee now denounce this decision and demand that the Commission maintains regulation of production potential for all categories of wine;

Whereas the Directorate General for Agriculture remains deaf to these appeals;

We, the Presidents of the regions and elected representatives of the territorial communities in the Assembly of European Wine-Producing Regions (AREV), supported by the overwhelming majority of regional, national and European trade organizations,

- Urge the Commission to heed the claims put forward by practically all wine-producing territories and to rapidly make a new legislative proposal for all member states, in accordance with democratic procedures;

- Call on the European Parliament to reintroduce the organization of production potential in the form of plantation rights for all categories of wine in all member states, thus amending the Commission’s "single CMO" proposal for regulation;

- Ask the heads of state and government in producer countries to continue their efforts and to convince, before the end of 2012, the few member states necessary in order to have a qualified majority;

- Invite the Council of Ministers for Agriculture to formally endorse these positions.