That’s €2.1 million flowing into Europe every hour thanks to sales of iconic wines and spirits around the world, according to spiritsEurope. As a result, the European wine and spirits sector is seeking to contribute to the revision of the EU’s Trade Strategy 2015.
With growth opportunities for wine and spirits lying mainly outside the EU, open trade remains key to the prosperity of the wine and spirits sectors, argues spiritsEurope which, together with the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins, is therefore urging EU institutions to adopt a very assertive, positive EU Trade Strategy over the next five years. This should focus on key priority markets and both spiritsEurope and CEEV urge strong opposition to protectionism both within the EU and elsewhere around the world.
One of the main calls by both spiritsEurope and CEEV is to allocate more resources within the Commission to the EU Trade Strategy.
“The Commission is committed to reducing its staff levels” said Paul Skehan, Director General of spiritsEurope, “but that overall reduction should not come at the expense of efficacy. More resources should be allocated to the DGs that serve President Juncker’s objectives of growth and jobs.
“This means more – and not fewer – resources to DG Trade, Agri and Grow to manage free trade negotiations with our trading partners, to enforce existing FTAs and WTO rules and to better staff EU delegations around the world.”
CEEV’s Secretary General Ignacio Sánchez Recarte pointed out, “The recent creation of the Market Access Team for alcoholic beverages in India serves as a good example of how delegations could work together with Member State embassies and industry to defend EU business concerns on the ground”.
The last request, made in a detailed submission sent by CEEV and spiritsEurope to Commissioner Malmström, is to resist any attempt by trading partners to exclude wine and spirits from negotiations on the ground of religious, social or health arguments, especially when these countries allow the production and sale of domestic alcohol beverages.