The European Commission has largely frozen spending on the restructuring and conversion of vineyards within the European Union (EU), balancing an oversupplied wine market.

Despite approving a series of compulsory distillation subsides this year, Brussels will spend €450m on conversion and restructuring in 2005/6, the same as in 2004/5.

Some national allocations have changed, however, with Italy receiving around €4m less (down to €99.7m), France €2m less (to €106.2m), and Spain €2m more (to €151.5m).

The Commission said today (13 October): "Improvement of the quality of vineyards and the alignment of supply and demand is a priority."