BELGIUM, Brussels. Regarding to food, agricultural products and spirits, local and regional leaders welcome simplified registration of geographical indications and enhanced protection against fraud.
Better rules and a stronger role for the EU Intellectual Property Office are key to preserving the essence of Europe's cultural and gastronomic heritage, accounting for €74.76 billion in sales
In the opinion adopted on 30 November at its plenary session, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) supports the European Commission's proposal to merge the three geographical indication (GIs) systems into a single system with common provisions for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wines and spirits. The CoR particularly welcomes the delegation of part of the examination of dossiers to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), which has effective tools that can be put to use by GI producers to simplify registration procedures, improve GI monitoring and fight fraud.
Geographical indications (GIs) are part of the European Union's cultural and gastronomic heritage and account for EUR 74.76 billion in sales, or 15.5% of all EU agri-food exports. At a time when agricultural raw material prices are soaring, high-quality production chains have a major impact on economic and social activity in the regions they are a part of, particularly by having a stabilising effect on regional economies. They also make it possible to develop investment, research and innovation in the regions and to ensure that producers receive a fair share of the value. The main points of the opinion are:
As of 1 January 2021, 3 306 geographical indications were registered at EU level by its Member States. Three Member States account for more than half of the registered names: Italy (858 names), France (734 names) and Spain (354 names), followed by Greece (270 names), Portugal (190 names) and Germany (167 names). Most GIs are registered in the wine and agricultural and food product sectors (49% and 44% of registered names respectively). Spirit drinks accounted for 7% of registered names and aromatised wine products accounted for 0.2% of the names.