The massive mobilization of European wine-growing regions contributed to the Commission’s u-turn
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The AREV prides itself on the Director General’s turnaround
The President of the Assembly of European Wine-growing Regions (AREV), Jean-Paul Bachy, salutes the turnaround by the Director General for Agriculture, José Manuel Silva Rodriguez, and notes the opinions he expressed in his interview with Agra-Europe, excluding total liberalization of planting rights for all wine categories. For the AREV, this is the result of the massive mobilization by elected and trade representatives in Brussels on November 7 to say "no to the dismantling of European viticulture".
A hard-line advocate of total liberalization, in spite of the disastrous counter-example of the Australian system (condemned by Professor Etienne Montaigne’s study), the DG for Agriculture has finally heard the voice of reason. On September 21, he refused to allow the AREV to address the meeting of the High Level Group (HLG) at Palermo and had already made the unrealistic proposal of limiting the abolition of planting rights to non-GI wines (as if two-speed viticulture was a viable option in non-segmented production).
Lacking sudden inspiration, the DG for Agriculture has finally adopted the proposal of Commissioner Ciolos who, in his Budapest speech on October 2, sounded the knell of liberalism in viticulture by declaring "Wine with or without a GI needs to be regulated. Liberalization is not an option." He has obviously realized that it is impossible to deregulate one sector to the detriment of the Commission’s other policies, both regional and cohesive, and accepted the need to favour a "territory" approach that takes into account the whole socio-economic fabric generated by the wine sector.
The AREV nevertheless remains vigilant, while waiting to see the high-ranking official’s reversal confirmed by the Commissioner’s line in the report that he presents in the name of the High Level Group on December 14.
Well done, José Manuel Silva Rodriguez, and thank you for having finally heard the voice of the wine-growing regions!
Châlons-en-Champagne, 19 November 2012,
Press contact: valérie bridard – AREV press attaché: 06 84 80 11 48 or 03 26 70 74 36.