Agricolae International08/05/2023 23:14

Regulation on geographical indications and quality schemes, EU Council votes on negotiating proposal. Ok also from Mediterranean countries: now to start trilogue for quality defense. Here is the text voted


The EU Council has approved its position on the reform of Geographical Indications. In this case, the Special Committee on Agriculture, SCA, confirmed by a large majority the proposal of Sweden, which currently holds the six-month presidency.

The issues of concern to Italy related mainly to the protection of designations, in particular the evocation on geographical names on the Internet and the issue regarding ingredients characterizing products with designations.

Also among the issues dear to Italy were the Croatian Prosek case, and that of Slovenian and Cypriot balsamic vinegar.

All Mediterranean countries voted yes, a first step toward trilogue

Now the trialogue phase for institutional dialectics between the Commission, the Council and the EU Parliament can begin.

Delegations will find in the Annex a revised version of the Presidency suggested changes to the Commission proposal, which, to the extent possible, take into account the delegations' comments made at the Working Party meeting on 19 and 20 April 2023 and in writing. Compared to 8598/23, the revision concerns only the formatting of the text and the correction of a clerical error in Art. 86(2a).

The suggested changes compared to the Commission proposal are marked in bold underlined for added text and strikethrough for text deleted.

Changes compared to the previous Presidency drafting suggestions set out in 7881/23 are indicated in yellow.

The Presidency invites the Special Committee on Agriculture to approve at its meeting on the 8 May 2023 the suggested text as the Council’s negotiating position for the upcoming trilogues with the European Parliament.

Most recent changes

The main changes introduced by the Presidency in order to address delegations´ pending concerns are the following:

  • Recital 24: text has been added on the longstanding systems set up in several Member States that served as inspiration for the proposed system of recognised producer groups which should be maintained while the legal framework for Member States wishing to apply the system is provided for;
  • 9a on sustainability has been moved to Art. 6a; in 6a(2), a clarification has been added according to which sustainability practices shall be included in the product specification through the registration or amendment procedure;
  • 14(3): the scope of the Commission empowerment has been clarified as regards accompanying documents;
  • 15(1)(ca) has been clarified with regard to the information that Member States have to transmit to the Commission as part of applications for registration at Union stage;
  • 17: the provisions on the deadline for the Commission scrutiny of applications for registration have been regrouped and clarified;
  • 19a: an obligation has been added for republishing the single document and the reference to the publication of the product specification where they have been modified substantially following the submission of a notice of comments;
  • 20(1)(d): the non-compliance of the product specification with Union law as a ground for opposition has been deleted;
  • 21(6): it has been clarified that the provisions on a transitional period for compliance only apply to applications for registration and Union amendments;
  • 23(5): the proposed obligation for the Commission to make public and regularly update the list of international agreements has been re-established;
  • 28: a notification obligation has been added for producers of prepacked food which contains as an ingredient a product designated by a geographical indication and who want to use the geographical indication in the name of that prepacked food where recognised producer groups exist for the concerned geographical indication;
  • 32(1) has been clarified with regard to the criteria to be met by producer groups;
  • 33(3) has been clarified;
  • 37(2): the provisions on the use of the Union symbol have been clarified, including in case that a product designed by a geographical indication is used as an ingredient;
  • 38(3): audits on geographical indications have been reinstated;
  • 39, 40 and 41: delegated bodies of third countries have been replaced by product certification bodies;
  • 39(5) has been aligned to Art. 39(1);
  • 45: it has been clarified that it is Member State’s choice whether to provide to operators an attestation or include them in a list; moreover, the burden of compliance has been clarified for cases where an operator is no longer accorded the attestation of compliance or has been delisted;
  • 48(5): the explanation on ‘other characteristic’ has been deleted;
  • 52(1) doesn’t specify anymore that the single document is a summary of the product specification;
  • The provisions on TSGs have been aligned to the changes made in the articles on GIs (e.g. in Art. 60, 67);
  • 81: the categories of grapevine products have been added in the product specification for wine and the description of wine or wines has been aligned to the current provisions in Regulation 1308/2013;
  • Linguistic alignments have been made (e.g. recitals 6b, 6c, 6d, 20, 27, 28, 35, 38, 43, 54, 56a have been aligned to the corresponding articles, Art. 4(c) has been aligned to Art. 48(1) and (2), as well as Art. 8(1) and 25(1) to Art. 32(1);
  • Correction of some clerical errors (e.g. in Art. 58(1)(b), 67, 83a, 86, 88a), references (e.g. in the title of the Regulation and of its Title IV) and redundancies (e.g. beginning of recital 10, recitals 25 and 36).

Below AGRICOLAE publishes the reform text voted on in the SCA and on which the dialectic between the Commission, Council and EU Parliament will now begin: