On 15 December this year, in Chisinau, was held the first meeting of the Subcommittee on Geographical Indications, established in accordance with Article 306 of the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union.
The meeting was hosted by the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI), the body responsible for the implementation in the Republic of Moldova of the Association Agreement provisions relating to intellectual property, including in the field of geographical indications.
On the part of the European Union in the meeting participated representatives of the European Commission, Bruno de Boni, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, and of the EU Delegation to Chisinau: Speranta Olaru and Vasile Plamadeala.
The Moldovan delegation was composed of responsibles for the protection and enforcement of rights on geographical indications from the AGEPI, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Customs service, Consumer Protection Agency and National Office of Vine and Wine. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Economy, institution responsible for the implementation at the national level of the DCFTA component of the Association Agreement and the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, national coordinator of the Association Agreement.
The event was assisted by the EU Project “Support to the DCFTA process in the Republic of Moldova”, at the meeting being present the legal expert of the project.
The subcommittee was chaired by Octavian Apostol, Director General of the State Agency on Intellectual Property, head of Moldovan delegation to the current meeting of the Subcommittee, the Moldovan part being supposed to hold the chairmanship of the Subcommittee on GI up to 31 December 2015. We should note that in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Subcommittee, adopted in the current meeting, the chairmanship of the Subcommittee is held alternately by the EU and Republic of Moldova. In 2016, the Subcommittee chairmanship will be exercised by the European Union.
Under its mandate, the Subcommittee on Geographical Indications is responsible to monitor the evolution of the agreement in the field of geographical indications and serves as a forum for cooperation and dialogue on geographical indications.
Thus, the participants in the meeting reviewed the latest developments recorded in the system of geographical indications in the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, focusing on legislative and institutional amendments. The parties also exchanged views and information on the enforcement of rights on geographical indications, ex-officio procedures for protection, control mechanisms, but also the way of communication between the parties in respect of infringements of rights on geographical indications.
The participants in the event appreciated the Subcommittee format as an effective platform for dialogue and exchange of experience, agreeing to implement this tool of the Association Agreement for improving the mechanisms necessary to ensure a high level of protection of geographical indications in the Republic of Moldova and the EU.
The next meeting of the EU-Moldova Subcommittee on Geographical Indications will be held in 2016, in Brussels.