open access

Abstract

Accession to the European Union (EU) implies the acceptance of the rights and obligations attached to the EU system and its institutional framework, known as the ";acquis communautaire";. Each new Member State of the EU will have to apply this as it stands at the time of accession. The subject matter of this Article is the part of the ";acquis"; dealing with the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin for agricultural products and foodstuffs. The author first describes the pre-accession situation, then points out the possibilities of transitional arrangements, and later goes into the details of Regulation 510/2006 – the most important legal source for the protection of geographical indications and designations of origin after accession to the EU. Where appropriate, the relevant ECJ cases are cited. Some of these cases are described in detail. Finally, to give an overview of the existing means of legal protection, the author contemplates the international dimension by examining WTO law.