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EU-South Africa Trade Pact Hung-Up on Wine Names.

The European Union's (EU) development commission conceded its policy towards South Africa lacked coherence. Negotiations between the EU and South Africa on a wines and spirits agreement are deadlocked, threatening the endorsement of an even broader trade accord than the one signed last month. That agreement covered 90 percent of the $20-billion in annual EU-South Africa trade and was hailed by the EU as a shining example how it could strengthen relations with developing countries.

But ratification by national EU parliaments could be held-up by the failure to agree on a linked wines and spirits accord. South Africa refuses to bow to EU demands to stop using a wide variety of terms for wines and spirits which the EU says should be reserved for European products. These include "grappa" and "ouzo," as well as so-called traditional expressions such as "grand cru" for wines.

Also at the development ministers' meeting, there was broad support for the EU to take a more flexible approach in negotiations with 71 developing countries on a new trade and aid pact. Negotiations between the EU and the 71-nation African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group on a successor to the Lome Convention, which has governed their relations since 1975, have made slow progress. Many ACP countries object to an EU demand to make "good governance" a base of the pact because they say it could be used by the EU to suspend aid in certain circumstances. While the EU still sees "good governance" as a goal, most EU countries now favor making clear that only corruption could be grounds for suspending aid.
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Comment:EU-South Africa Trade Pact Hung-Up on Wine Names.
Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Geographic Code:4EU
Date:Nov 22, 1999
Words:265
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