Why is the EU wasting tax payers’ money in wine subsidies?
The EU needs to reflect on its wine subsidies and stop wasting tax payers’ money
For years public health organisations have questioned the use of Common Agricultural Policy money for the promotion of wine and especially funding of the Wine in Moderation and similar programmes.
This week, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) has confirmed these concerns. Their report published reveals that the need for an investment measure specific to the wine sector is not justified, as such support already exists under the EU rural development policy.
Member States spent € 522 million in EU funds under the promotion measure between 2009 and 2013. For 2014-2018, there has been a large increase in funds allocated to the Member States for this measure (€1.16 billion to the EU-27). The EU auditors found that there is a lack of sufficient relevant information to show the direct results attributable to these measures.
The report also questions the role of EU grants for the promotion of wines, since they were often used for consolidating markets, rather than winning new markets or recovering old markets.
Mariann Skar, Secretary General of European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare) has called on the European Commission to carefully revise its decision to fund wine industry programmes which promote alcohol from the CAP budget. She said: ‘From a public health perspective it simply does not make sense for the EU to so heavily support promotion of a sector that is producing a product which is harmful to health’.
Harmful use of alcohol is the second largest lifestyle related cause of disease in Europe and a risk factor for over 60 chronic diseases, including for instance cancer. The social costs directly and indirectly attributable to alcohol for 2010 alone was estimated at €155.8 billion
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EUROCARE (The European Alcohol Policy Alliance) is an alliance of non-governmental and public health organisations with around 55 member organisations across 24 European countries advocating the prevention and reduction of alcohol related harm in Europe. www.eurocare.org
While writing this press release ECA Press release was utilised.
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