After the conclusion of the negotiations in December 2009, the European Commission has now adopted a draft decision on an EU-Switzerland bilateral agreement for the protection of their respective Geographical Indications (GIs) for agricultural products and foodstuffs. It now passes to the Council and European Parliament for approval.
After finalisation of the preliminary procedures, the agreement will protect the GIs of each of the two parties on the territory of the other. The draft agreement covers the GI's registered before 15 September 2009 - approximately 800 GIs registered in the EU and 20 or so GIs registered in Switzerland.
This will ensure that the entire range of Geographical Indications is protected, as the agricultural trade agreement between the EU and Switzerland, in force since 1 June 2002, already covers the protection of wines and spirit drinks.
The agreement also introduces a mechanism for updates and makes provision for regular consultations which will be of particular use when it comes to integrating new Geographical Indications.