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European wine reform formally accepted

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Council of Ministers has formally adopted a wide-ranging reform of the Common Market Organisation for wine.

It follows the agreement reached by ministers in December 2007 and aims to bring balance and greater competitiveness to the European wine market.

A council statement said: "The reform provides for a fast restructuring of the wine sector in that it includes a voluntary, three-year grubbing-up scheme to provide an alternative for uncompetitive producers and to remove surplus and uncompetitive wine from the market."

The European Commission will begin the process of adopting the legislation with a view to bringing the reform into force on August 1 2008.

Mariann Fischer Boel, commissioner for agriculture and rural development, commented: "Now we can get on with the final preparations for the entry into force of the new system in August.

"Instead of wasting money getting rid of unwanted surpluses, the reform will allow us to concentrate on taking on our competitors and winning back market share. I hope the Member States will make good use of the new tools available."