After difficult negotiations, Horst Seehofer, Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, called the result a success being achieved by the closeness of the state, federal governments and wine economy. Now, it is essential to skillfully use the opportunities given by the reform.
Speakers from multiple EU member states reported about the designated programs in their countries. These initiatives of the so called national financing frame have been newly introduced with the reform in order to make the European wine economy more competitive in regard to other opponents of the new world. The member states have to file their programs in Brussels by June 30th to access their portion of the total budget (2008: 0,8 billion Euros, 2014 1,4 billion Euros). The member states can choose among 11 designated support programs to devise their development programs according to their structural conditions.
The presentations have shown that the member states will apply for very different programs. In the South European member states, which had made use of Brussels´ intervention measures in the past, measures like the distillation of table wines and must aid in particular, are phasing out after a transitional period.
The restructuring measures are an essential element in virtually all member states. The new opportunities to support innovative investments in the wine- cellar industry and in commercialization are implemented in most of the member states.
The possibility to carry out promotion measures in third countries has obviously sparked the interest of the member states and their wine- industry. France and Spain want to apply annual sales promotion programs with a budget of 60 million Euros (with a share of 50 per cent of own resources), whereas Italy talked about programs with a financing of 100 million Euros. With approximately 2 million Euros, export promotion programs in Ger-many and Austria turn out to be much lower.
Some of the designated subsidy schemes are not received enthusiastically. Yield insurance and direct aids are only being offered in a few states. The so called "green harvest", an aid for the destruction of the yield, and which has been excoriated by the Germans, will only be considered in Spain and Italy. Decisions are still unsettled.
In 2008, a total of 23 million Euros are being at Germany´s disposal. From 2011 on, the German portion will increase to approximately 39 million. The German program arising from the centralization of programs of the federal states practicing winegrowing is supposed to contain viticultural restructuring measures, investments in cellar industry and promotion measures in third countries as well as yield insurance for only a few countries. Federal minister Seehofer announced that in 2008 the must aid should only be offered as a transitional measure with reduced rates limited to a maximum of 5 million Euros. (red.yoopress)