BUSINESS

European Union to open fully its market to Moldovan wines

The European Commission (EC) proposes to fully open the European Union’s market to wine imports from the Republic of Moldova, in advance of the envisaged provisional application of the EU – Republic of Moldova Association Agreement and the related Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), as a measure to ease some of the difficulties the Republic of Moldova is experiencing with its wine exports to some of its traditional markets, according to a pres release. “The European Union’s market is a sustainable alternative and a viable pole of stability for the Moldovan wine sector. A fully opened EU market for Moldovan wines in a time when Moldovan farmers are in difficulty, reflects that, beyond being a very successful economic integration project, the EU is also a space of solidarity,” stated Dacian Ciolos, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. The Russian ban was widely seen as a warning to Chisinau ahead of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in November, where Moldova hopes to be offered an association agreement. Ciolos said his proposal will now have to be approved by the EU Council of Ministers – a process which he said could take from several weeks to several months, rferl.org informs. Moreover, Dacian Ciolos said he is convinced that Romania will take over the leadership in the EU’s Council of Ministers for the decision of the EC on granting Moldovan wines unrestricted access to the European market to be adopted the soonest possible.
The Association Agreement is expected to be initialed at the Eastern Partnership Summit, to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania in November 2013, and some of its main elements, including the DCFTA, to be provisionally applied soon after the signing of the Agreement. The DCFTA foresees the full liberalisation, with no restriction of the EU market, for the imports of Moldovan wine, revoking the current regime of Autonomous Trade Preferences (which provide for a quota of 240.000 hl of wine per year).
The European Commission will propose to the Council and the European Parliament to modify the Autonomous Trade Preferences so that the EU imports of Moldovan wines becomes completely liberalised without waiting for the provisional application of the Association Agreement, including its DCFTA. The European Commission will ask the Council and Parliament to do their utmost for a speedy adoption of this modification.

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