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03/05/2017

Reformed CAP should end with special treatment for wine

The European Commission should end with the mantra of the specificity of the wine sector. Wine is a food product produced for sale and human consumption in the EU internal market, like any other. The EU should seize CAP revision as an opportunity to end with the ‘special case’ ‘specificity’ of the wine sector.

Wine is an alcoholic beverage, which like other alcohol products, is a 3rd main contributory factor for Non-Communicable Diseases. Europe is the heaviest drinking region of the world with 10.9litre of pure alcohol per capita per year. Drinking alcohol is associated with a risk of developing more than 200 different types of diseases, including cancers, liver diseases, cardiovascular diseases many gastrointestinal conditions.

Health harmful products such as wine should not be promoted through EU public funds.

From a holistic perspective where CAP should aspire to be not merely support mechanism for farmers but also shape health and well-being of EU citizens and create competitive sector, the wine promotional funds are unnecessary.

The promotion scheme for increased in the recent years from 61 million EUR yearly to 200 million, which is disappointing and a creates massive incoherence in the EU policy.

The promotion funds are used for advertising of wine, when World Health Organisation is calling on advertising restrictions for alcoholic beverages to reduce alcohol-related harm. Continuing with the promotion scheme could run in opposition to the EU efforts to fulfil SDGs. Especially SDG3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

If the promotional funds would be erased, based on allocation for period 2009-2018, this would help the EU to save at least 1 595 013 000 EUR.

Is it sustainable for the EU (EU tax payers) to keep supporting market that creates a health harmful product?