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Wine Directive

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made in respect of the European Union wine directive. (89917)

I have been asked to reply.

The European Commission published its options paper “Towards a sustainable European wine sector” and an accompanying impact assessment on 22 June 2006. This is not a proposal, but a Commission Communication analysing the situation on the EU wine market and setting out various options for the reform of the current regime. Defra has undertaken a formal consultation on the Commission's Communication, which closed on 9 October 2006 (http://defraweb/corporate/consult/wine-reform/index. htm). We will be considering the responses received in order to inform a detailed UK negotiating position. But in the discussions to date, we have welcomed the Commission's Communication, which clearly sets out the case for reform and identifies a good range of options for discussion. We expect the Commission to present detailed legislative proposals early in 2007.