Grapes are not potatoes Harsh Criticism from European Winegrowing Organisations for EU Commission
In his lecture during the congress on viticultural policy, organised by German Winegrowers’ Association (DWV) in Berlin, the director of the French AOC-Association assailed the Commission for its intention to integrate European Wine Law into the general regulation framework for agriculture. As representative of all French regions for quality wine he stated that the Commission’s scheme is not suited at all for the requirements of winegrowing. Representatives from other winegrowing member states followed his critique as well as the Assembly of European Viticultural Regions (AREV). Norbert Weber, president of the German Winegrowers’ Association appealed to the German minister of Agriculture, Horst Seehofer, to plead for conservation of the specifity of the European wine law at Brussels.
In 2006, when the Commission started to present its proposal for reform, it still agreed on the independence of the European Wine Law. At a later date, Mrs. Fischer Boel disavowed her promise, obviously backed up by the majority of European agricultural ministers who seem to be unable to differentiate between potatoes and wine.
„Summing up all market organisations in one regulation is not an act of debureaucratisation, but an act of legal confusion,” excoriated Norbert Weber. If ministers and Commission will put through the integration of wine law into the Common Market Organisation for Agriculture this would lead to incomprehensibility and impenetrability of Brussels’ regulations for wine. Simplification and easy access has been pledged, therefore the German Winegrowers’ Association as well as all representatives of the European wine industry reject emphatically the draft version recently presented by the Commission.