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Spirit drinks: Definition, labelling and geographical indications [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Tarja Laaninen (3rd edition, updated on 28.05.2019),

© Jeff Baumgart /

In December 2016, the European Commission proposed to replace Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 – the Spirit Drinks Regulation – with a new one, with the aim of aligning it with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The proposal mainly involves grouping the provisions adopted by the Commission into delegated and implementing acts. In addition, it replaces the existing procedures for the protection of geographical indications (GIs) of spirit drinks with new ones, modelled on the recently updated procedures for quality schemes applied to agricultural products and foodstuffs.

According to spirits industry representatives, the proposal contained some substantive changes that needed to be studied in detail to determine their impact.

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) was responsible for the file in the European Parliament. A provisional agreement was reached at the third trilogue meeting, on 27 November 2018. The agreement was confirmed by the Special Committee on Agriculture in December 2018 and approved in the ENVI committee on 22 January 2019. A plenary vote in the EP was held on 13 March 2019. The act was signed on 17 April and the regulation published in the Official Journal on 17 May 2019.

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Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the definition, presentation and labelling of spirit drinks, the use of the names of spirit drinks in the presentation and labelling of other foodstuffs and the protection of geographical indications for spirit drinks
Committee responsible: Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)

COM(2016) 750

procedure ref.: 2016/0392(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteur: Pilar Ayuso (EPP, Spain)
Shadow rapporteurs:






Susanne Melior (S&D, Germany)

Bolesław G. Piecha (ECR, Poland)

Ulrike Müller (ALDE, Germany)

Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL, Ireland)

Piernicola Pedicini (EFDD, Italy)

Mireille D’Ornano (EFDD, France)

Procedure completed. Regulation (EU) 2019/787
OJ L 130, 17.5.2019, pp. 1-54.

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