EU: Conservatives gain support over wine policy objections
Political support has been given to conservatives resisting root-and-branch reforms of the European Union's (EU) common market organisation for wine, with the European Parliament calling for many suggested changes to be abandoned.
In non-binding amendments, the parliament has: voted against European Commission's plans to ban chaptalisation and abolishing aid for using grape must; called for the retention of compulsory distillation, although only allowing aid payments to distillers; opposed allowing harvest years, wine grape varieties and other traditional details to be printed on table wine labels, saying this should be allowed only for quality wines; and rejected transferring power to authorise new wine-making practices from the EU Council of Ministers to the Commission, while opposing using International Organisation of Vine and Wine-approved oenological methods for exported EU wines.
Its move will bolster conservatives resisting these reforms in the EU Council of Ministers, which votes on them this month. Ministers can ignore the parliament if they choose, however.
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