Misleading the public opinion: EUROCARE report on wine promotion and CAP

Brussels, 14 March – The wine industry reacts to the misleading report “Europe's billion-euro wine spillage” published by the Brussels-based organisation Eurocare on 6 March which, on the basis of false information and assumptions, criticizes the Common Agricultural Policy and more precisely the wine promotion measure.

“We are shocked by the distorted facts, mistakes, inconsistencies and biased conclusions in this report which makes it very misleading.” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV.

From a general point of view, it is quite astonishing how Eurocare criticizes not only the policy but also the European Commission's and Member States' procedures by suggesting that the promotion programme shows poor enforcement of control procedures, extended fraud and administrative measures favouring unfair competition.

When criticizing the cost-efficiency of the promotion measures, the report suggests that the total EU wine exports have increased by less than the amount spent on promotion, but figures speak for themselves: in the period mentioned in the report, 2009-2015, EU wine exports have increased by €4,46 billion [from € 5,3 billion to € 9,8 billion][1], more than five times the amount spent on promotion in that period (€125 million per year on average).

In the same line, the € 258 million[2] allocated to the wine promotion measure in 2017, which equates to only 2,2% of that year's exports, have secured an increase of € 1,24 billion (+12%)[3] in a high competitive market.

“Paying to grub up EU vineyards and consequently push people out of rural areas is Eurocare's great solution. I am speechless in front of such an irrational attack towards the European culture and the jobs of 3.000.000 EU citizens in rural areas. It seems that Eurocare has never heard about the socio-economic role of wine production, or the problem of de-populating rural areas” said Ignacio Sánchez Recarte.

Finally, it is quite surprising to receive such critics from a politically driven organisation which relies on governmental support[4]. A good example of these incomes is the € 552.168,45 of public money[5] allocated to a project coordinated by Eurocare, which mainly consists in identifying 1 local youth football club in 6 Member States, interviewing football club management and 8 young people, preparing a video and strengthening the capacity of the stakeholders and partners involved.

You can contact CEEV for a detailed report of the distorted facts, mistakes, inconsistencies and biased conclusions included in Eurocare's document.

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Note to Editors:

  • Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products. It brings together 24 national organisations and its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports.
  • With almost €12 billion € worth of exports every year, the EU wine sector is the leader of EU agri-exports and makes a positive contribution of more than €9 billion to the EU trade balance.