APPENDIX 3: CALL FOR EVIDENCE
The House of Lords European Union Committee will
be conducting an inquiry, via its Environment and Agriculture
Sub-Committee (Sub-Committee D), into the current situation of,
and the options for reform of, the EU Wine Sector. The purpose
of the inquiry is to acquire evidence regarding the arrangements
which currently exist within the European Union governing the
planting, growing, making, distillation and marketing of wine
products and, against this background, to assess proposals for
reform which are expected to be put forward by the European Commission
in the Spring of 2007. The inquiry will therefore commence early
in the 2007 New Year and aim to report before Parliament rises
for the Summer Recess in July.
The inquiry will be evidence-based. That is to say,
its purpose is to acquire evidence from those involvedincluding
the UK Government; the European Commission; UK, EU and Global
Wine Trade and Marketing Organisations; and others with relevant
experience and/or expertise in the subjecton the current
situation and its problems and on the options for reform.
Against this background the Committee hereby invites
you to submit written evidence to the inquiry. The Committee would
find it helpful if, in addition to any general issues you may
wish to raise, you would focus on a number of specific questions.
It is recognised that those submitting evidence will not necessarily
have an interest in all the questions and may therefore wish to
be selective. The questions are:
A. The Need for a Regulation
1. What is the nature of the case for having a wine
regime at alli.e. as distinct from allowing the industry
to adjust itself to competitive pressures (e.g. via increased
efficiency, rationalisation, diversification, etc)?
2. Why should wine qualitye.g. relating to
Geographical Indicationbe regulated? Why cannot consumers
choose between wines as they do between other productse.g.
on the basis of brand names or other information which might provide
a guide to quality?
B. The Market
3. Given the existence of a wine regime, how might
a better balance be achieved between the supply of and demand
for wine and wine products produced within the EU?
4. Is the EU wine industry, within the current regime,
sufficiently competitive within the global wine market? How can
it be made more so?
5. Is it to be expected that barriers to trade in
wine will continue to diminish as the result of WTO negotiations?
If so, what impact can this be expected to have on the cost of
the EU wine regime and/or on its effectiveness in protecting farm
C. Structural Measures
6. Are current measures (e.g. grubbing up, restrictions
of planting rights) an appropriate means of bringing supply and
demand into balance? What further measures need to be taken in
these or other areas?
7. How significant an issue is illicit planting for
the supply situation?
8. Is there a case for the continuance of remedial
measures ("crisis distillation") to deal with exceptional
9. What alternative outlets (i.e. other than wine
sales) exist for excess production?
10. What is the potential impact on wine producing
areas of liberalisation of the market? How sensitive are these
economies to change?
11. How effective have current arrangements been
in supporting diversification of rural economies away from the
wine sector? What contribution will the European Agricultural
Fund for Rural Development make, post 1 January 2007, to development
of the rural economies of wine-producing regions? What further
measures might need to be taken?
12. Given continuance of an EU wine regime, what
are your views on labelling and quality issues? Are current arrangements
conducive to consumers understanding what they are buying? Is
there scope for rationalisation and simplification?
13. What part has marketing played in the rise in
sales within the EU of wine produced outside the Community?
14. What lessons might be learned from the penetration
of non-EU wines into the EU market?
E. Wine Making Practices (WMP)
15. How suited are current regulations on WMP to
a competitive global market in wine? What changes would you like
16. How should enrichment (with sugar or must) be
regulated? Should there be financial aid for enrichment?
F. Environmental and Social Impact
17. To what extent does the wine sector have an impactfavourable
and unfavourableon the EU environment? Are measures needed
to support good environmental impact? Should they be selective?
18. To what extent and how should reform of the EU
wine regime take into account concerns over the potential for
Guidance for Those Submitting Evidence
Submissions of evidence should be sent to:
Clerk to the EU Environment & Agriculture Sub-Committee
House of Lords
London SW1A 0PW
Tel. (020) 7219 4579
Submissions should be copied to:
House of Lords
London SW1P 0PW
Tel. (020) 7219 8646
Emailed submissions in Word format are preferred.
The deadline for receipt of submissions of written
evidence is 7 February 2007. Please ensure, when submitting
evidence, that you include relevant contact details, that your
evidence is dated and that you make clear whether it is submitted
on a personal basis or behalf of an organisation.
Short submissions (6 pages of A4 size type or less)
are preferred. Longer submissions, where these are judged necessary,
should be accompanied by a summary. Paragraphs should be numbered.
If drawings or charts are included, these should be black and
white and of camera-ready quality.
All evidence submitted becomes the property of the
Committee and may be printed and published. You may publish your
evidence yourself, but in doing so you should indicate that it
was prepared for the Committee.
The Committee will invite some of those submitting
written evidence to appear before it in order to give oral evidence,
usually at Westminster and in public session. Oral evidence sessions
are expected to be held between February and April 2007.
This is a public Call for Evidence and you are invited
to bring it to the attention of other groups or individuals who
may not have received it and who may have a contribution to make
to the inquiry. It is open to any individual or group to submit
written evidence, subject to the guidance set out above.