After a positive vote in the European Parliament plenary session, the EU Commission welcomed on 7 October the support expressed by the Council to allow the Union to join the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement, a multilateral treaty for the protection of geographical indications managed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Geographical indications refer to a product whose quality and reputation are linked to its geographical origin.

“This is a step forward to better protect our geographical indications at a multilateral level. They mirror the EU’s valuable geographical diversity, authenticity and know-how, in terms of agricultural products, food, and drinks”, said EU Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan.

The Council adopted a legal package setting the legal basis for the Union’s accession, as well as the rules on how the EU will operate as a member of the Geneva Act. Once the EU officially becomes a member, all of its geographical indications can get high-level protection in other members of the Act.