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18 million euro for Bulgarian vineyards

Date: 12.11.2007

The European Commission (EC) had agreed to grant 510 million euro to wine producing member states for the restructuring and conversion of vineyards in the 2007/2008 marketing year, an EC media statement said. The financial allocation for Bulgaria was well over 18 million euro.

The objective of this system is to adapt production to market demand. It covers the measures of varietal conversion, relocation of vineyards and improvements to vineyard management techniques. The system does not cover the normal renewal of vineyards which have come to the end of their natural life.

Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said that improving the EU wine quality was a top priority and added that although the restructuring programme had played a useful role since 1999, a profound reform of the common organisation of the wine market was necessary. She hoped an agreement could be reached at the December 2007 meeting of EU agriculture ministers.

Under Council Regulation on the common organisation of the wine market from 1999, member states could obtain annual payments for restructuring and conversion of a set number of hectares of vineyards, the media statement said. The Commission grants the subsidies in line with each member state's share of the total EU area under vines and objective criteria accommodating particular situations and needs.

Since 1999, when financial support for restructuring and conversion was introduced, 3 billion euro have been allocated to wine producing member states.

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