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18/11/2008

EP Intergroup on Wine meets for exchange of views on the labelling proposal

Strasbourg, 22 October 2008.

The rapporteur for the text in ENVI committee, MEP Ms Renate Sommer (EPP-ED DE), met the European Parliament Intergroup on wine, tradition and quality for an exchange of views on the labelling regulation (

COM(2008) 40 final. Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the provision of food information to consumers).

Astrid Lulling (EPP-ED, LU) opened the debate by reminding the members that the last meeting of the group was in June. The exchange was regarding the Commission's proposal on labelling. She said that it was important for the intergroup to prevent this proposal from being applied to alcoholic beverages.

Renate Sommer (EPP-ED DE) first asked why the Commission had issued this proposal before the elections. She also regretted that there was no scientific background. She said that there was a need to provide information to consumers. She also regretted that the proposal could not reach all of its intended targets in the time given. She said that she was still working on her report, as this complex issue needs more attention.

The next Committee Meeting will take place on 5th November, it will then be further discussed in January with the Committee and a vote in session will take place in April. This means that there will be no time for a second reading by the current Parliament. She also mentioned that she was the only one to know what the shadow rapporteur (green) wished.

She then talked about the issue of applying the proposal to the labelling of alcoholic beverages. She reminded the group that wine, beer and spirits were not included in the text but that aromatic wines and mixed alcoholic beverages (alcopops) were.

Astrid Lulling (EPP-ED LU) said that she wanted to sensitize the opinion of the Commission. She strongly insisted on the fact that the Commission should not apply the regulation to wine. She insisted that this could be a bad precedent for wine, a product which is already subjected to many regulations.

She said labelling was regulated in the common market organisation for wine; and then “if you would have a compromise in December 2007 on the wine labelling, you can not change it one year later which is completely ridiculous”.

Aromatised Wine sector representative said that his organisation was against the application of the proposal on labelling on aromatised wine.

Renate Sommer (EPP-ED DE) said she would think about this and would probably favour the non-application of the labelling directive to aromatised wines. She noted however that this could potentially endanger the prospect of finding support for her report.

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