1 June 2023 News

The European Parliament approves by a large majority its position on the revision of EU GIs system

The European Parliament (EP) adopted with 603 votes in favour, 18 against and 8 abstentions, its position on the revision of the system governing Geographical Indications (GIs), giving the negotiation mandate to the rapporteur, MEP Paolo De Castro, ahead of trilogues with Council.

AREPO welcomes the vote expressed by the Plenary, congratulating the rapporteur for his work and the result achieved. We remain confident that the rapporteur and Ministers of Member States will achieve the best possible outcome during the trilogues, in the interests of producers and territories.

MEPs today agreed on the creation of a single regulation covering agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks, with some specific provisions on wine remaining in the CMO regulation.

The text approved strengthens the role of producer groups, introducing more powers and responsibilities for recognised producer groups. Member States will have to define certain provisions, such as those concerning compulsory contributions for all operators, even if they are not members of the group.

GIs protection has been improved, especially online and on domain names and when GIs are used as ingredients. In the latter, the authorisation of producer groups will be needed to use the registered name in processed products.

On sustainability, MEPs approved the introduction of a sustainability report, accompanying GI product specification and published on an EU portal, where producers will explain their commitment towards economic, environmental and social sustainability.

To remove red tape and speed up procedures for registration and amendments, the position of the EP reduces the timeframe for the Commission’s scrutiny to five months instead of six, which could be extended by a further three months only in duly justified cases. Furthermore, most requests for amendments to products specifications will be managed at national level, thus reducing Commission workload.

As a result, MEPs reaffirmed the central role of DG Agri in the management of the GI system, rather recognising the contribution of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on technical issues and assisting with tasks concerning the online protection of GIs and establishing an alert system monitoring the registration of domain names.

The trilogues will begin on 7 June, under the Swedish rotating Presidency of the Council, in order to approve the final text under the Spanish Presidency by the end of 2023.

More information available here: MEPs want better protection for quality agricultural products