EU wine measures have contributed to cost-effectiveness and increasing producer cooperation. As state aid rules for agriculture and forestry were found to be coherent and contributing to the common agricultural policy (CAP) objectives. These findings are part of two independently conducted studies evaluating the CAP measures applicable to the EU wine sector and state aid instruments for the EU agricultural and forestry sectors. Those we as part of the European Commission’s ongoing commitment to evaluate the effectiveness of the common agricultural policy.
The study for the evaluation of the CAP measures applicable to the wine sector, published on 2 April 2019, draws on the collective experience of the authorities managing the National support programmes, beneficiaries of the programmes measures and their competitors. 2,000 consumers and 30 wine retailers were also consulted. The aim of this evaluation was to ensure that the instruments used provide good value to the taxpayer, effectively contribute to the wider aims of the common agriculture policy and the European Union as a whole, while preventing market distortion or unfair competition.
Within the wine sector, EU instruments have supported an extensive restructuring and conversion of vineyards policy. This approach, representing over half of the total budget for the sector’s support programmes, has led to substantial mechanisation and increased the cost effectiveness of vineyards. It had an overall positive effect on productivity of growers and wine producers, improving their competitiveness.
The study also noted that wine producers benefitted from the clear labelling rules provided by the European Union. These labelling requirements ensured a level playing field, fair competition and increased consumer confidence. European Union oenological regulation had also proved successful in guaranteeing quality and safety.
Finally promotion measures, aimed at supporting access to foreign markets, enhanced cooperation between wine producers, with for example collective promotion actions. This has led to improving their negotiating position in the supply chain.
Published on 4 April 2019, the evaluation of the instruments applicable to state aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors assesses the rules of the agricultural state aid framework 2014-2020 regarding eight aid measures. The study examines the appropriateness of those rules, their efficiency, effectiveness and coherence and looks at Member States’ use of state aid and their choices in terms of state aid procedures.
The study finds that state aid responds to the needs of the agricultural sector and addresses market failures. In addition, the results of the support go beyond the direct effects on beneficiaries, contributing also to CAP objectives and public health policies.
Furthermore, the effects on competition and trade were found to be limited. Though there were some negative effects, those were relatively minor, and were outweighed by the positive benefits. Finally the study found that state aid instruments were coherent with other concerned EU policies.
Both studies will be complemented by a wider public consultation, which will last 12 weeks. The consultation on measures in the wine sectoropened on 7 March and the one for state aid is due to be launched during the first half of 2019.