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S&Ds push for the first EU legislation to protect traditional crafts and industrial products

Date

12 Sep 2023

Sections

Global Europe

Today, the European Parliament will adopt a new set of rules to make a step forward in the protection of European traditional crafts and industrial products. The new regulation will make sure that products such as the Albacete knife, Murano glass or porcelain de Limoges will be protected within the EU and globally.

While agricultural products have been protected by an EU ‘geographical indication’ for decades, the Socialists and Democrats have long been calling for the extension of ‘geographical indication’ (GI) to grant protection to local non-food products. The new legislation will apply to over 800 products, such as jewellery, textiles, glass, porcelain, musical instruments or furniture, and will allow consumers to identify and trust quality products.

The Socialists and Democrats have specifically fought for a clear indication for the production of a product that takes place within the geographical area for which they obtained the GI. This was a matter of consistency with the objective of promoting local economies, expertise and jobs, encouraging consumers to buy local ‘made in the EU’ products, and ensure that consumers are not misled. Our Group was also at the forefront in ensuring that the protection of GI is equally clear in the information provided on online interfaces, and that local and regional authorities could apply for a GI on behalf of producers.

Iban García del Blanco MEP, S&D Shadow rapporteur on ‘Geographical indication protection for craft and industrial products’, said:

“With the upcoming plenary vote, products such as Talavera de la Reina pottery - which is not a minor issue - will be finally on equal footing with protected geographical indications existing in the agricultural area, like Champagne. It will also pave the path towards certain harmonisation of diverging national legislations and ensure that local EU craft and industrial products are protected, also beyond our borders.

“Furthermore, we want to fight counterfeit. As of now, consumers will have the guarantee that they will be acquiring an authentic product; for example whenever they buy an Albacete knife, they will know that it was produced in that city with local materials, and that it is not a fake one.

“Thanks to the new legislation, regional employment could rise by 0.12% to 0.14 % and 284000 to 338000 new jobs could be created across the EU.*

“With this new regulation, we aim to foster the economic dynamism of our regions, to preserve and promote quality jobs, as well as the expertise of local producers, and to settle and attract people towards rural areas that are challenged by depopulation trends.”

(opens in a new tab)*According to EP Think Tank study - ‘Geographical indications for non-agricultural products’

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