17 Jun 2016
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 17 JUNEBrussels Daily
President Juncker at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum
On 16 June, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 20th St Petersburg International Economic Forum. Underlining the reasons for his visit, President Juncker said: “In the coming weeks, the European Union and its Member States will hold a number of important meetings. We will spend many hours talking about our relations with Russia. I take the view that we must also talk with Russia – its leadership, its people. For some this may be a radical idea, for me it is common sense.” The President highlighted the urgency of implementing the Minsk agreements as the first step towards better relations: “Russia is party to the Minsk agreements. It has made commitments and put them on paper, as have the other signatories. Therefore, the next step is clear: full implementation of the agreements. No more, no less.” At the same time, he set out a vision for future relations between the EU and Russia: “For the European Union and Russia, the prize, one day, could be great: a vast region governed by the rule of law, trading freely and working together on common projects. Of course, this will not happen overnight, but it is not a utopian vision. It is one which – with good will and ambition on both sides – would serve the best interests of our citizens.” President Juncker had the opportunity to reiterate these messages in a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which was held in a good atmosphere. President Juncker and President Putin agreed to stay in close contact.
Agriculture: the Commission approves new Protected Designation of Origin from the United Kingdom
The Commission has approved today the addition of a new product from the United Kingdom to the quality register of Protected Designations of Origin (PDO). ‘Conwy Mussels’ are wild mussels that grow naturally in the Conwy Estuary in North Wales. They are harvested using the ancient Welsh tradition of hand raking during the mussels fishing season running from 1 September to 30 April. ‘Conwy Mussels’, well-known by top chefs for their rich, salty taste and high meat content, are the 60th food name from the UK to be protected (Protected Geographical Indications, Protected Designations of Origins, and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed altogether). Geographic Indications increase the market value of the products by guaranteeing that they are distinguishable from other similar products or foodstuffs. In 2010, the sale of UK Geographical Indications (GI) products amounted to over €5 billion annually. The introduction of a GI has the potential to boost farmers’ revenues, promote the rural economy and contribute to maintaining the population in rural areas. In addition, consumers will be able to make more informed choices on the basis of clear information on the specific characteristics of the products they buy. More information: webpages on quality products and DOOR database of protected products.
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