On 7 February, oriGIn EU – in collaboration with MEP Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT) – organised a round-table in Brussels to discuss the recent developments of the EU Geographical Indications (GIs) system reform.
“At a crucial time of the legislative process, with the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Committee on Legal Affairs discussing compromise amendments to the proposal presented last year by the Commission, we had the opportunity to discuss the GI review with the rapporteur Mr. De Castro, the shadow rapporteurs Ms. Sander (representing Mr. Amaro), Ms. Tolleret, Mr. Gruffat, Ms. Aguilar and several other members of the European Parliament. We would like to thank all of them for their availability to listen and exchange ideas and potential solutions to issues critical for the future of GIs”, said the President of oriGIn EU Charles Deparis.
During the roundtable, oriGIn EU members reaffirmed their convictions:
a. GIs represent a crucial factor for the competitiveness and sustainable development of rural communities. Sustainability must be looked in all its economic, social and environmental dimensions.
b. Groups are at the core of the GI system. Their powers and responsibilities within value chains as well as in terms of protection and promotion must be clarified and extended. While we need general principles applicable to groups across the EU, we must preserve rules that proved to be extremely successful in certain Member States. This reform is the opportunity to have an ambitious policy in favour of rural development.
c. Streamlining the EU GI system procedures, reducing delays and strengthening protection remain priorities. In this respect, DG AGRI must maintain its central role in assessing products specifications, while the EUIPO – which role must be clearly defined in the legislative proposal – could support it in the management of the GI register, in protection and enforcement initiatives, including online, as well as in promoting an exchange of best practices among stakeholders. The commission needs to have an efficient GI unit for an ambitious EU GI policy.
“The roundtable showed large consensus on those issues within the members of the Committee on Agricultural and Rural Development of the European Parliament present at the round table. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the European Parliament and the other concerned institutions to build the future of GIs in the EU and contribute to the transition to a more sustainable agriculture”, concluded Charles Deparis.
oriGIn EU is the European branch of the global alliance of GIs (https://www.origin-gi.com). Its mission is to ensure better protection and promotion of GIs. oriGIn EU represents individual European GIs groups as well as national GIs organisations.