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Mr Židan: "EU Ministers warned of procedural irregularities"

Brussels, 18 July 2017 - At the request of the Slovenian delegation, the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council discussed the agenda item "Commission Delegated Regulation of 19 May 2017 amending Regulation (EC) No 607/2009 as regards the wine grape varieties and their synonyms that may appear on wine labels" related to the case of Teran wine. In his speech, Minister Dejan Židan reiterated that the method of conducting procedures, decision taking without considering the arguments brought forward by the Member States and growers who are holders of the protected designation, as well as the retroactivity and thus legalisation of illegal practices pose problems from a political perspective and from the point of view of trust in the rule of law. Four Member States, France, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary, have expressed concern about the method of adopting additional exceptions.

At today's meeting of the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, Slovenia reiterated its opposition to the adoption of the mentioned delegated act. In the presentation of the Slovenian arguments and positions, Minister Dejan Židan pointed out that the possibility to label wines with the name of the Teran grape variety, which is identical to the protected designation of origin Teran for wines produced in the Karst region in Slovenia, constitutes interference with the existing protection, resulting in misleading consumers and causing major economic damage due to any decline in sales and degradation of the existing protected designation of origin. "It follows from the above that no protected designation of origin for wine is safely protected and that the Commission can interfere with all other existing protected designations of origin for wine in a similar (not transparent) manner". This opens a Pandora's box of problematic issues. 


The Minister concluded that due to the bilateral nature of the issues, it was not possible to obtain the necessary majority (16 countries and 66% of the EU population) to reject the proposal of the act. However, by discussing this item at the Council, Slovenia again drew attention to a number of outstanding issues related to the procedure itself, the excess of delegated powers and the relationships between the institutions. He pointed out that the Commission did not provide Slovenia with satisfactory explanations as to the questions posed, which are necessary and urgent. "Therefore, Slovenia will address the questions to the European Court, and I am convinced that the answers that will be received will prove to be important not only for Slovenia and the concrete case of Teran, but also in a broader sense for the EU as a whole."