Agricolae International13/01/2023 15:46

Wine, Tajani and Lollobrigida to Breton: Act with respect for the EU, yes to educating consumers, no to arbitrary national measures The letter


Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and Food Sovereignty Minister Francesco Lollobrigida write a letter to EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. And they ask for an immediate intervention in compliance with the jurisdiction of the EU Court and Article 34 TFEU regarding the Irish decision to affix labels comparing wine to cigarettes.

Below AGRICOLAE publishes the text of the letter:

"Dear Commissioner,

we would like to bring to your attention the problem arising from the technical regulation that Ireland intends to introduce in the alcoholic beverages sector, with its repercussions on the internal market and distorting effects on intra-Community trade.

The choice of Dublin, in fact, does not take into account the criticalities represented by Italy and other Member States on the draft technical regulation, which - as has been pointed out - negatively affects the freedom of trade and restricts the free movement of goods within the Union. At the same time, the effects in terms of health prevention appear decidedly modest, as there is no distinction between 'moderate consumption' and 'abuse' of alcohol.

On the contrary, Italy consistently supports an informative approach, aimed at educating consumers to responsible behaviour and conscious choices, moderating the consumption of alcoholic beverages within the framework of a healthy and balanced lifestyle, without, however, the adoption of national measures of an arbitrary nature.

Therefore, in light of the above considerations, we call for your intervention to protect the proper functioning of the internal market, in line with the jurisprudence of the EU Court of Justice, which has consistently held that all measures taken by a Member State that are liable to impede, directly or indirectly, existing and potential trade within the Union have an effect equivalent to quantitative restrictions and are therefore prohibited under Article 34 TFEU.

Italy remains willing to reach shared solutions with the other Member States in compliance with European law, trusting that the Commission will exercise its institutional prerogatives to protect EU law and the integrity of the internal market'.