A total of €62m has been allocated to farmers in Austria, Czechia and Poland who have been affected by hail and frost, the European Commission has announced.

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 affected orchards and vineyards. Additional damage was caused in Poland by hail.

Meanwhile, wine producers in Portugal are suffering from market imbalances that could turn into a prolonged and wider crisis.

The Commission's proposals, accepted by member states, give €10m to Austria, €15m to Czechia, €37m to Poland and €15m to Portugal from the agricultural reserve.

These countries may complement this EU support by up to 200% with national funds.


A statement from the Commission said the area and the share of production affected by hail and frost in Austria, Czechia and Poland is significant and endangers the economic viability of the farms.

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 implemented.

This will include 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.


In Portugal, there is currently an unprecedented accumulation of wine stocks.

This has been caused by a decrease in red wine sales combined with an increase in production last year.

In 2023, Portugal was the member state with the highest increase in production compared with the previous year.

The support package presented by the Commission will fund temporary crisis distillation in Portugal 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, such as disinfection, pharmaceutical and energy purposes.

National authorities can distribute the aid to wine producers, wine co-operatives, 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Portugal is expected to notify the Commission on the implementation of the measure, notably on the quantities of wine withdrawn from the market for each region.

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.