Italy, along with nine other countries in Europe – including France, Holland, Spain and Poland – voted against the European Commission’s proposal for the 2023 Annual Work Program for the promotion of agricultural and food products. The committee representing the EU states was unable to approve the program, which for 2023 is worth approximately 186 million euros and establishes the selection criteria for access to EU funds aimed at promotion. Among these, stringent requirements for certain categories of products such as meat, wine and spirits in general. This motivated the nine countries to vote against.
Agri-food Cooperative Alliance
According to the procedure, the European Commission will be able to present a modified program to find the green light for the States. Alternatively, it can go ahead independently, but the signal sent by the countries was clear in view of the proposed reform of the aid regime, which provides for limits on the financing of EU campaigns with meat and alcohol. The president of Alleanza Cooperative Agroalimentare, Carlo Piccinini, comments on the expression of the Committee of Member States stating that it was an overwhelming majority, with which an extremely dangerous proposal was rejected which would have actually penalized the promotion projects for meats, cured meats and wine. Piccinini also explains that this is not the first time in which the European Commission has tried to anticipate on the administrative side of the political guidelines still under discussion and certainly dystonic with respect to the current regulatory framework, he adds.
The change of Europe
In the opinion of the president, the Commission will now have to take note of the contrariet of European countries and consequently reformulate the program, this time strictly adhering to the principles of a sound promotion policy. With respect to the outcome of the vote, Piccinini notices a Europe that is changing. We express our appreciation for the new approach that Minister Francesco Lollobrigida intended to give to the position of the Italian Government in the EU – he added -. The refusal of pre-established ideological positions finally seems to enter the scene in the sensitivity of the Member States. We trust that this is the first sign of a necessary turnaround to protect European agri-food products and Italian excellence.