The European Commission is to provide €1.4m (£840,000) - or half the total cost - of a €2.8m campaign to promote European wines in the US. The other half will be met by French and Spanish wine organisations.

The cash will be spent on public relations and promotional or publicity measures, including information campaigns on the European Union system of quality wines produced in specified regions (QWPSR). Some of the more general programmes, such as those covering information on EU quality and labelling systems and laying on high-level visits and studies, will be paid for entirely by the EU.
The money is part of €14m approved by the European Commission to promote European agricultural products outside the EU.

"Improving the competitiveness of EU quality products on markets outside the EU is a major challenge. By investing over €14m in promotion and information campaigns for our agricultural products outside the EU, the European Union is showing its determination to take up this challenge", Commissioner Franz Fischler, responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, said.

The adoption of these new programmes is the second decision in the framework of measures to promote agricultural products in third countries. In December 2001, the Commission adopted a first set of 18 programmes for a total budget of €19m.