Brussels, 18 November 2019 - spiritsEUROPE strongly supports the re-establishment of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Wine, Spirits and Quality Foodstuffs. This intergroup allows for the enhanced understanding of the cultural, traditional and economic importance of spirits among key decision-makers in the European Parliament, and should be re-constituted.
“We encourage MEPs from all political groupings, sitting on all committees, and from across the Member States, to support the re-establishment of the Parliamentary Intergroup on Wines, Spirits and Quality Foodstuffs”, said Ulrich Adam, Director General of spiritsEUROPE.
We are the second biggest agri-food export for the European Union (worth over €11 billion in 2018), and we employ directly and indirectly over 1 million people, supporting many more in hospitality, tourism and recreation sectors. There are 238 spirits registered as Geographical Indications (GIs) (among them Scotch and Irish whiskies, Cognac, Brandy de Jerez, Polish Vodka, Ouzo or Genever); this designation as a GI ensures that the associated jobs stay European, and stay local.
As in the previous mandate, the intergroup will provide a forum to discuss and propose suitable policy and best practice for our sector, and will allow for effective communication and information-sharing with key policy-makers in the European Parliament.
The incoming five years of this mandate are sure to be interesting for our sector. Our companies will have to adapt and respond to the changing needs and choices of our consumers. We will support free trade with our many partners worldwide, ensuring the high-quality of our products as we work to limit illicit alcohol production and sales. We will ensure that tax structures on our products are fair, adequate and effective. Most importantly, we will strive to encourage the responsible enjoyment of our products, and continue to invest in programs at a national level that promote this ideal.
We are encouraged to see broad support for the Parliamentary Intergroup on Wines, Spirits and Quality Foodstuffs with close to 100 MEPs signaling their interest in the past weeks. We hope to see this showing of support culminate with the re-establishment of the intergroup after this week’s voting, and look forward to our continued work with this Parliament.