EU and the Republic of Moldova sign agreement on protection of Geographical Indications
The European Union and the Republic of Moldova signed today in Brussels an agreement to protect their respective Geographical Indications (GIs). Moldova will ensure a high level of protection for more than 3,200 EU GIs for food products, wines and spirits already protected within the EU. The agreement also aims at promoting trade in quality agricultural products and foodstuffs between both parties. "This agreement is a further step in strengthening our system of GIs around the world, but also a way of bringing Moldova closer to the EU", said EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloș.
The agreement aims at better informing consumers on the origin and quality of products and protecting them from being misled. The agreement reflects the European Union and Moldova's converging views on quality policy, consumer protection and intellectual property, while responding to EU Member States' efforts to protect Geographical Indications internationally. Furthermore, with it, Moldova is adapting its domestic legislation to the highest standards of intellectual property rights protection.
The development of Geographical Indications is expected to contribute significantly to the diversification of wine production in the Republic of Moldova. The initial protection of 2 wine Geographical Indications originating from Moldova (Româneşti and Ciumai PDO wines) is expected to help the marketing of these products on the EU market. It will also encourage the development of a GI protection system in Moldova, for example through its extension to other categories of products. It should also encourage new initiatives valorising the GIs system, bringing tourism to regions and supporting marketing strategies for new markets.
The agreement responds to EU Member States' efforts to protect Geographical Indications internationally, an approach promoted by the EU at multilateral level, namely in the World Trade Organization. Similar bilateral agreements have already been concluded with several EU trading partners, for example with Switzerland and Korea, or are currently under negotiation. After Georgia, Moldova is the second among the EU Neighbourhood Countries to take this important step forward in promoting and protecting the quality of agricultural production.
It also reflects the European Union and the Republic of Moldova's converging views on quality policy, consumer protection and intellectual property. It should serve as a dynamic instrument leading to improvements in the quality of products traded between both partners. A mechanism for updates and regular consultations will be established, which will facilitate the integration of new products in the list of Geographical Indications.
The Agreement will now have to be submitted to both parties' respective legislative authorities before entering into force.