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European Commission allocates €77 million in emergency support to farmers in Austria, Czechia, Poland and Portugal

The European Commission has proposed to mobilise €77 million from the agricultural reserve to support farmers from the fruit, vegetables and wine sectors of Austria, Czechia, Poland who have recently suffered from adverse climatic events of unprecedented magnitude, as well as Portuguese wine producers who face serious market disturbances.

The Commission's proposals, accepted by Member States, allocate €10 million to Austria, €15 million to Czechia, €37 million to Poland, and €15 million to Portugal. These countries may complement this EU support by up to 200% with national funds.

In spring this year, Czechia, parts of Austria and parts of Poland were affected by unprecedented frost which, after unusually mild temperatures in March, greatly impacted orchards and vineyards. Additional damage was caused in Poland by hail. The areas and the share of production concerned is significant and endangers the economic viability of the impacted agricultural holdings. The national authorities will distribute the aid directly to farmers to compensate them for their economic losses. Austria, Czechia and Poland will have to notify the Commission about the details of the measures' implementation, notably the criteria used to calculate the individual aid, the intended impact of the measure, its evaluation, and the actions taken to avoid distortion of competition and overcompensation.

Meanwhile, wine producers in Portugal are suffering from market imbalances that could turn into a prolonged and wider crisis. The current unprecedented accumulation of stocks in Portugal is caused by a decrease in sales of red wine combined with an increase in production last year. Portugal was in 2023 the Member State with the highest increase in production compared to the previous year. The support package presented today by the Commission will fund temporary crisis distillation in this country to remove some of the volumes currently in excess and rebalance the market.

To avoid distortion of competition, the alcohol obtained by distillation can only be used for industrial purposes, like disinfection, pharmaceutical, and energy purposes. National authorities can distribute the aid to wine producers, wine cooperatives, distillers and wine enterprises, and will lay down the rules for the application for support. Portugal is expected to notify the Commission on the implementation of the measure, notably on the quantities of wine withdrawn from the market for each region.

For more information:
Thérèse Lerebours
Phone: +32 2 296 33 03
Email: [email protected]

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