The Working Group on Technical Barriers to Trade, assisted by the Expert Group on Wine and spirit drinks, is responsible for legislation on wine and spirits.
Aspects related to the abolition of technical barriers to trade in wine are covered by Protocol 47 to the EEA Agreement.
Aspects related to spirits drinks are covered by Annex II, Chapter XXVII of the EEA Agreement.
The EU occupies a leading position on the world wine market, accounting for 45% of wine-growing areas, 65% of production, 60% of global consumption and 70% of exports in global terms. The latest EU reform was implemented in 2008 and had the following goals: 1) making EU wine producers even more competitive - enhancing the reputation of European wines and regaining market share both in the EU and outside, 2) making the market-management rules simpler, clearer and more effective - to achieve a better balance between supply and demand, and 3) preserving the best traditions in European wine growing and boosting its social and environmental role in rural areas. Two out of three EEA EFTA States are looking for ways to implement the reform into the EEA Agreement (Liechtenstein has a permanent derogation for this sector as it is subject instead to the bilateral Swiss-EU Agreement on Agriculture).