The European Commission will spend around EUR3m (US$4.5m) on promoting sales outside the European Union (EU) of French spirits, Italian and Portuguese wines over the next three years.

The Commission has confirmed that it will spend EUR1.2m on marketing and information campaigns in Japan and North America coordinated by Italian wine federation Federdoc, EUR1m promoting Portuguese 'vinho verde' wines within China, Norway, Latin and North America, campaigns organised by the Comissão de Viticultura da Região dos Vinhos Verdes, and EUR912m on promoting Cognac, with campaigns in China, Russia and North America coordinated by France's Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC).

Outgoing EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel said: "Increasing the visibility of EU quality products on markets outside the EU is a major priority."

In all instances, the money will be matched by the relevant national governments and local industry, effectively doubling these marketing budgets.