27 October 2014 News

AREPO General Assembly: Emilia-Romagna handed over the baton to Midi-Pyrenees

During the General Assembly held in Bilbao on October 21st, AREPO members elected the new President. After a four years mandate, Emilia-Romagna Region handed over the baton to the French Region Midi-Pyrénées in the person of Vincent Labarthe, Vice-President in charge of Agriculture. Midi-Pyrénées Region is a member of AREPO since 2004 and since 2010 chairs the Board of Producer Representatives.

The program of the new Presidency was illustrated by Marc Carballido, Vice-President in charge of cross-border programs. Firstly, Midi-Pyrénées Region is committed to advancing the goals and actions of the outgoing Presidency with respect to the application of the new EU quality policy through the implementation of regulations on rural development, on promotion of agricultural products and on European quality systems. Moreover, he highlighted the principal challenges that lie ahead in the coming months. Namely, the protection of PDO and PGI quality products under the free trade agreement with the United States; the contribution to the successful conclusion of the new regulation on organic farming aiming at the development of the sector, and the mid-term review of the CAP in 2017. Finally, Midi-Pyrénées will pay particular attention to the EU innovation policy to support the development of the competitiveness of agricultural enterprises, with a particular focus on quality products and GIs.

Emilia-Romagna region concluded its mandate after four years of intense activity in the field of common agricultural policy: the reform of the entire CAP system, the approval of the Quality Package in September 2012 and the definition of the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020. In its final report, the outgoing President, Tiberio Rabboni, outlined some of the achievements over the past years. Namely, the obligation for EU Member States to fight against and punish counterfeiting of PDO and PGI products; the possibility for consortia to manage production volumes of PDO and PGI cheese and ham, as well as to access to promotion programmes through the RDP and the Promotion policy; finally, the recognition of the optional quality term “mountain product”.

In addition to the change of leadership, AREPO members discussed on the principal issues in the political agenda: the quality measures in the CAP, the delegated acts complementing the Regulation on Quality Schemes, the Promotion Policy of the EU and the review of Organic Farming regulation.

The General Assembly was held in conjunction with the European Mountain Convention, organized by the Basque Government and Euromontana with which AREPO continues to work after the fruitful collaboration for the definition of the optional quality term “mountain product”.