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 Full text 
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 - Brussels Revised edition

Definition, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks and protection of geographical indications thereof (debate)

  Sofia Ribeiro, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. – Mr President, I would like to apologise on behalf of Angélique Delahaye, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, who unfortunately could not be here today. On her behalf, I would like to share some key points with you.

First of all, I would like to thank Pilar Ayuso for the work that she has done. It is a good base for the negotiation to come with the Council.

I would also like to point out that this dossier is more technical than political, and it does not deal with health issues. Nonetheless, it is of great importance for all the spirit sectors, especially in regard to European exports. The production of spirit drinks in Europe accounts for the second biggest share.

In fact, the system of the protection of geographical indications plays a huge role in the EU’s trade policy. Europe not only succeeds in obtaining protection for its quality labels on external markets, but also encourages third countries to set up equivalent systems, and this is a very important issue for us. I would also like to highlight the diversity of the products. It is impossible to have a one—size—fits—all approach. As each Member State has its own culture and tradition that is reflected in consumer habits, it makes sense that labelling also acknowledges each country’s specificities.

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