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Response of the MAFF to the publication of the draft delegated act by the Commission

Ljubljana, 20 March 2017 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food received information that the European Commission published the draft delegated act for granting Croatia an exception for the use of the name Teran on the Portal for Better Regulation.

 

 

In connection with the publication of the draft delegated act for granting Croatia an exception for the use of the name Teran by the European Commission, the MAFF explains that, to the invitation by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan, to present evidence of the suspicions that the Croatian documents are forged, last week Slovenia sent the copies of the Croatian application again, on the basis of which, in the part that was not blacked out, it is possible to presume that Croatia submitted the national rules on the list of varieties dated 17 November 2004, whereas in the annex to the same document there is a list of varieties, which takes into account an amendment from 2010, when Croatia began to differentiate between the varieties Teran and Refošk (Refosco) and began identifying them as two different varieties.

 

Slovenia also provided again a joint study carried out by  Slovenian and Croatian researchers in 2014, in which it was proved that the varieties Teran and Refošk have the same genotype, and, therefore, this is the same variety and thus the separation of the two varieties was unfounded from the expert point of view.

 

Slovenia has also repeatedly requested that the European Commission grant it full access to the Croatian statements in the application, and to be appointed as a party to the proceedings with regard to Croatian indications in the application.  Slovenia drew attention to the recommendations to the European Commission by the European Ombudsman, in which she established that the Commission should grant the wine growers full access to the data from the Croatian application other than personal data, and that by refusing the wine growers' request the Commission acted improperly; it also drew attention to the assumption that Croatia allegedly submitted modified documents to the Commission. Based on this requirement from Slovenia, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, during his recent visit to Slovenia assured Slovenia that the Commission would examine the new facts.

 

Commissioner Hogan informed Slovenia in writing that he was acquainted with Slovenia's concern based on Slovenia’s request to access the documents and the reference made to the recommendations of the European Ombudsman in this respect.  Commissioner Hogan let us know that the request was under examination and that the Commission would respond to it within the  time limit; however, he could not find new elements to change his original assessment and, therefore, he tasked the Commission's services to publish the draft delegated act on the Portal for Better Regulation.

 

Slovenia established that the Commissioner does not wish to clarify his position with respect to the forged documents and that, so far, he has not provided Slovenia full access to information in the Croatian application. For this reason, Slovenia has already suitably responded to the Commissioner's letter.

 

Slovenia reiterates that, owing to substantive reasons and manifested error in the Commission’s process, Slovenia will use all legitimate means to gain exclusive protection for the Slovenian producers of Teran wine including, if necessary, action before the European Court of Justice.