New Instruments in Old Bottles?
This chapter focuses on the EU's microeconomic measures—subsidies for promotion, restructuring, and investment—that sought to improve the competitiveness of its wine producers and merchants. Although the 2008 reform placed a great deal of emphasis on regulatory policy tools as a means of reprogramming markets, the EU has not abandoned all budgetary support for the wine industry. Instead, the reform has transferred much of the money that was previously spent on grubbing out vines and distillation to microeconomic measures aimed at improving the competitiveness of individual firms and regional vineyards. This goal was strengthened by the invention of the notion of national envelopes that authorized member state governments to give differing levels of support to their growers and merchants through two types of subsidies: one to support marketing of EU wines in non-EU countries and the other for investments to improve a firm's production or processing capacity.
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