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Commission allocates €77 million in emergency support to farmers




The European Commission has proposed mobilising €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.

Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner for Agriculture, said that with this emergency support, “the European Commission will provide much-needed aid to our farmers in Austria, Czechia, Poland, and Portugal. The major climatic and market disturbances endured by these farmers illustrate once again the importance of a strong agricultural reserve in the CAP budget, to reinforce stability in the face of increasingly severe and unpredictable crises. The stability of our farmers is fundamental for the stability of our society. Therefore, now and in the future, the Commission will stand with them in their times of need”.


To address the bigger challenges facing the EU wine sector, the Commission also recently launched a High-level Group on Wine Policy which is expected to deliver recommendations for future policy developments by the beginning of 2025.

Payments to farmers for the emergency financial support to Czechia, Austria and Poland must be made by 31 January 2025, whereas the support to the beneficiaries for the temporary exceptional crises distillation to Portugal must be paid by 30 April 2025. The two acts laying down the provisions of the support will be adopted in the coming days and will be directly applicable after their entry into force in July 2024.

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