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Balsamic Vinegar, Italy activates infringement procedure against Slovenia

Bratislava wants to transform the name “balsamic vinegar” into a product standard

The Italian Government has activated the infringement procedure pursuant to art. 259 TFEU against Slovenia for the protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI. "The initiative - explain from the Consortium - will allow to protect once and for all not only the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI, but the entire system of PDOs and PGIs, which could probably have been at risk if the Slovenian line - that in fact it has transgressed a European regulation - it had not been challenged to restore the juridical order of things and therefore it had let go of what presents itself as a dangerous precedent". 

For the President of the Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI Mariangela Grosoli, "the news coming from the Council of Ministers reassures us and raises our spirits, as it confirms the support and full support of the Government at our side. After months of waiting and concern, we finally see a glimmer of light: we just have to wait for the technical times for carrying out the internal procedures that will lead to the formalization of the appeal over the next few months, for the rest we are sure that this decision can finally bring to a resolution of the problem". 

The first step after activating the infringement procedure will be a consultation phase at the European Commission, which will then be followed, if necessary, by taking action at the EU Court of Justice. Since the first denunciation of the infringement by Slovenia - at the beginning of 2021 - there have been numerous statements in support of the Consortium for the Protection of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI, with the very specific commitment to act as spokesperson with the Government so that it could be activated the infringement procedure, the last resort to protect the rights of the denomination which represents a very important slice of the made in Italy agri-food sector, estimated as a whole with an economic value of about 17 billion euros. 

The issue arose when, at the beginning of last year, the Slovenian government notified the European Commission a national technical standard on the production and marketing of vinegars which, in addition to being in sharp contrast with Community standards and the principle of harmonization of European law, seeks to transform the name "balsamic vinegar" into a product standard. Illegitimate operation and in contrast with the community regulations that protect PDO and PGI and govern the labeling and consumer information system.

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EFA News - European Food Agency