Croatian MEP Tonino Picula asked the European Commission this week about planned measures to protect production and employees in the wine sector, which employs more than two hundred thousand people in the European Union.
Picula believes that, due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the wine industry is under intense pressure and requires support. Due to the closure of major sales channels, such as restaurants, hotels and other catering facilities, as well as the general cessation of tourism activities, our domestic Croatian wine industry has been suffering severe sale and export losses since the outbreak of the crisis.
The International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) announced last week that EU wine makers' revenue could be reduced by 50 percent and sales volume by 35 percent.
"Unfortunately, this is not a short-term crisis for the sector, and It will not stop with loosening of the restrictions. Further loses in revenue are expected due to so-called social distancing measures and the upcoming economic crisis that will result in reduced spending", Picula points out.
Picula specifically asked the Commission if it plans to come up with targeted support measures for the wine industry, a strong European industrial sector that directly employs over 200,000 people. He also asked is the European Commission is planning a recovery strategy for sectors of the economy that will be particularly affected by the so-called social distancing? Finally, he asked whether the EC is aware of the broader context in which unsold inventories could lead to significant price reductions and cause further distortions in the wine market?
The Office of MEP Picula will inform the public of the Commission's reply as soon as it arrives.