EU Wine Policy

Common Market Organisation and Wine Regulatory Issues

To reinforce the competitiveness and market-orientation of the EU Wine sector

CEEV Objectives

  • Deepening the modernisation of the European sector and its market orientation, further pursuing dynamic and market-oriented measures, with the objective of reinforcing the competitiveness of the EU wine sector by favouring solutions allowing to better structure the sector instead of dispersed measures. In this framework, we support i.a. the continuity and improvements of the promotion and investments measures and simplification of red tape and administrative burden while fully ensuring the accountability of the programs.
  • Supporting a new regime framing the growth of plantings in the EU with the objective of ensuring the orderly growth of new plantings to reinforce the competitiveness of the EU wine sector. It should allow for a balanced evolution of the EU vineyard in the future which, however, would not undermine the competitive potential of the EU wine offer on the market place, nor be an obstacle to the development of competitive production strategies that allow improving the market situation of EU wines and other vine products across the world and meet future increase of demand(s).
  • We support an enhanced role for the professionals themselves as true actors of the capacity management who, thanks to their thorough knowledge of the market, should take further the responsibility thereof and allow for a better organisation, collaboration and management of the sector matching the expectations and dynamic features of the market.
  • Supporting an update of definitions and processing practices for aromatized wine products adapted to technological innovation and new consumer expectations, in line with the OIV standards.
  • To improve the definition of appropriate producing conditions across the EU to satisfy the consumer’s demand on quality organic wines while ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market and international trade, including through appropriate equivalence solutions between UE and Third Countries organic wine standards.
  • Promoting appropriate EU & international harmonised standards for alcohol-reduced wines and alcohol-free wines, allowing the EU wine sector to respond to the dynamic consumer demand, expand the outlets for the EU production, and ensure the smooth market deployment of these new segments without unnecessary barriers to the internal and international trade.
  • Preserving the specificities of wine geographical indications, strengthening their protection at international level, but also its complementarity as regards company’s brands and trademarks, so that one should not prevail upon the other.
  • Improving economic intelligence for increasing the market legibility for the EU wine economic operators in order to better forecast future trends in production, consumption and trade.

Policy developments

In April 2008, the Council of Ministers adopted a Wine CMO Reform which thoroughly reorganised the way the EU wine market was managed, in order to ensure that the EU wine production matches the demand. The reform is primarily aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the European wines and wine sector.  

As foreseen in the Wine CMO Reform, the European Commission adopted in December 2012 a Report on the experience gained with the implementation of the wine reform of 2008. It basically concludes that the wine reform was successfully implemented, and its continuation will help to enhance the competitiveness of the EU Wine sector. At the same time it suggests to examine the opportunity of a number of improvements.

The EU initiated a discussion on a Reform of the CAP (2014-2020), including possible changes to the Wine rules, also on vine plantings. On 16 December 2013, the Council of the EU Agricultural Ministers formally adopted the four basic regulations for the reformed CAP, as well as the transition rules for 2014.

In February 2012, the EU adopted a new regulation for organic wines. The European Commission launched a review of the EU organic policy in 2013. On 24 March 2014, the European Commission adopted the legislative proposals for a new Regulation on organic production and labelling of organic products

Also in 2014, the EU has adopted a new Regulation on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of aromatised wine products (Regulation 251/2014 replacing the R 1601/1991) 

Take a minute to watch EC DG AGRI's new videoclip "CAP - Produce Food"!


Policy background

Wine is an agricultural product, defined as such by the EU Treaty and subject to exhaustive specific regulations at international (OIV) and EU levels. Wines and wine-based products are fully defined, regulated and controlled by a comprehensive Common Market Organisation within the CAP Single CMO Regulation and implementing Commission regulations. It covers production disciplines, oenological practices, manufacturing methods, presentation and labelling modalities, as well as documents and registers in the wine sector, aimed at ensuring full traceability, appropriate information and protection of consumers, proper functioning of the internal market, and fair competition between economic operators.