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Legal Service: The halloumi decision is very important

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Νομικor Υπηρε σΙα: ΠολΙ σημαντικor η αποφαση για &tau ;ο χαλλοyμι

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The decision of the General Court of the EU on halloumi is considered very important, says the Legal Service in its announcement.

As he notes, the registration of Halloumi as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product was confirmed today by the General Court of the European Union, rejecting in its entirety the appeal filed by various companies against the European Commission, with which they requested the annulment of the Executive Regulation (EU ) 2021/591 which registers “Halloumi”/”Hellim” as a PDO (case T-361/21 Papouis Dairies etc. v. European Commission).

“The decision of the General Court of the EU is considered very important as the General Court ruled, among other things, that the specification “with or without cow's milk” in the wording of the 1985 standard, to which Executive Regulation (EU) 2021/591 refers , shows that cow's milk is considered by the competent Authority that adopted the said standard as a purely optional ingredient and as a potential supplement to sheep's milk or goat's milk. In this light, the choice made in the registration application to limit to 50% the proportion of the cow's milk used in the mixture for the preparation of Halloumi was reasonable” it states.

History of the case

The announcement also gives a history of the case. As reported, on April 12, 2021, following the registration of a relevant application by the Republic of Cyprus, the European Commission registered the name “Halloumi”/”Hellim” as a protected designation of origin (PDO) product, issuing the Executive Regulation (EU) 2021/591, which refers, among other things, to the specifications for the preparation of halloumi.

On June 22, 2021, the Association of Cheesemakers et al. filed an action with the General Court of the European Union against the European Commission for the annulment of the aforementioned Executive Regulation, challenging its legality and requesting its annulment, claiming that the European Commission committed manifest errors when examining the application for the certification of Halloumi as a PDO .

The Legal Service of the Republic, representing the Republic of Cyprus, intervened in the case, supporting the position of the European Commission.

On June 6, 2023, the case was heard before the General Court of the EU.

Finding of Court

The Legal Service notes that the General Court thoroughly examined the arguments of the applicants regarding the existence of manifest errors on the part of the European Commission during the examination of the registration application for Halloumi/Hellim and the issuance of the said Executive Regulation, and accepted the position of the Republic of Cyprus and the European Commission that the applicants have not demonstrated the existence of a manifest error on the part of the Commission.

The position of the Republic, he notes, was that the role of the European Commission consists of supervisory control of the procedures implemented by the national authorities, with the technical issues of scientific documentation and the organoleptic and analytical characteristics of the product being examined at a technical level by the national authorities , which have the knowledge, experience and proximity to the production area and the production process.

The General Court, in its decision, accepted the position of the European Commission that the scientific evidence submitted by The Republic of Cyprus justified the registration of Halloumi in the PDO Registry and that the application did not suffer from obvious errors.

On behalf of the Attorney General of the Republic, the case was handled by Messrs. Elena Zachariadou – Prosecutor of the Republic, Elena Symeonidou – Senior Lawyer of the Republic and Irene Neophytou – Senior Lawyer of the Republic, as well as the lawyer Professor Theodoros Georgopoulos.

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Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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