EU to Wineries: Justify Our Financial Love

Is the European Union (EU) budget too high when it comes to supporting the promotional endeavors of the wine industry for member states? The European Court of Auditors (ECA), reports Prague Post, is questioning the 1.6 billion euros earmarked for marketing wine during the 2014-2018 time frame, a more than double increase of the 522 million euros allocated from 2009-2013.

So what's the problem?

Well for one thing, promotional activities using EU grants have focused on consolidating markets rather than entering new ones or getting back into old ones. And ECA Member Jan Kinšt, discussing the report in a press release, added, “Also, when the EU contribution incites enterprises to proportionally reduce their own funding for promotion actions, it becomes essentially a partial subsidy of these companies’ operational costs. This is not an efficient use of public money.”

Do you feel this is money worth spending if it promotes growth in a business with such history and cultural significance among EU countries?