30 June 2016 News

TTIP: a menace for our Geographical Indications?

Brussels – On June 28th, AREPO participated in the round table and GIs tasting organised by MEP Eric Andrieu to highlight the importance to protect Geographical Indications (GIs) under TTIP negotiations.

In view of the next 14th round of negotiation that will take place from July 11th to 15th, MEP Eric Andrieu organised an event at the European Parliament on “TTIP: a menace for our Geographical Indications”, with the participation of the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, and of Cécile Billaux, Member of Cabinet of the EU Commissioner for trade.

He introduced the event voicing the concerns of the sector and affirming that all GIs registered by the EC has the right to be protected in all bilateral, multilateral and international trade agreements signed by the EU.

The European Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, assured that the TTIP will maintain a high level of protection on EU GIs since they represent a key element of EU culture and agriculture in terms of identity and tradition.

Several representatives of the European GIs sector participated in the event asking the European Commission for widespread recognition and strong protection of GIs under the TTIP.

The President of the Association of European Regions for Products of Origin, Vincent Labarthe, stated that AREPO opposes the principle of an a priori restricted list of GIs and asks the European Commission to start a comprehensive consultation of the European GIs, in order to assess their willingness to be protected or not under the TTIP.

The President of the European Federation of Origin Wines (EFOW), Bernard Farges, demanded that the US stops using the names of European GI wines wrongly considered semi-generic. The concerned PDO are typical products, expressions of their territories of origin, with their inherent natural and human factors, and they cannot be considered as a recipe.

“There should not be any agreement without the recognition of the principle of GIs protection in the TTIP,” said Giuseppe Liberatore, the President of the Italian Association of GIs Consortia (AICIG). He added that “AICIG and its members are willing and ready to share experiences to support the development of GIs products in the US”.

Finally, MEP Andrieu concluded the round table presenting some of the GIs products that are not included in the list proposed by the EU and inviting the participants to enjoy the tasting.

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