EU expands protection to traditional handicraft

Laguiole knives, Antwerp Diamonds and Meissen porcelain and many other products of handicraft will be safeguarded

Shop in Hornberg, Germany with traditional clocks. Image: Gary Bembridge/Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

According to Politico’s newsletter ‘Brussels Playbook’, the EU has agreed to extend its geographical indications (GIs) protection system, which safeguards product names tied to particular regions beyond gourmet foodstuffs, to non-edible handicrafts.

The scheme aims to support small and medium enterprises and traditional production methods. The protection of geographical indications will apply to online and offline trade. The EU is set to begin registering and protecting crafts and industrial goods EU-wide. The protection will cover items such as Carrara marble, French Laguiole knives, and Antwerp diamonds. Germany’s “Cuckoo clocks” from the Black Forest region are also listed.

Up till now, the system was mostly used to protect food-related products, such as halloumi or helim, a type of cheese from Cyprus. Nonetheless, the scheme has faced criticism from US and Australian agri-food giants, who claim the EU is discriminating against new-world versions of European delicacies.

Read the full article at Politico (second article in the newsletter)

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