CJEU Case C-159/20 | Commission v Denmark (AOP Feta)

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Publication Date 2020-2022
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Information Guide focusing on Case C-159/20 from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which concerns the use of protected designations of origin (PDOs).

Further information:

The name Feta was registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in 2002. Since then, that name may be used only for cheese that originates in the defined geographical area in Greece and conforms to the applicable product specification.

The European Commission launched infringement proceedings, supported by Greece and Cyprus, whereby it was claimed that Denmark had breached its obligations under Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 by failing to prevent or stop the use of the designation Feta on cheese produced in Denmark and intended for export to third countries. However, Denmark maintained that the Regulation applied only to products sold in the EU and did not cover exports to third countries.

On 14 July 2022, the CJEU ruled that Denmark had failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law by failing to stop the use of the designation for cheese intended for export to third countries. However, the Court also ruled that the country had not infringed the obligation of sincere cooperation.

Related Links
The Local (Denmark), 17/06/2020: Cheesed off: Greeks ask EU to sue Denmark for ‘fake feta’ https://www.thelocal.dk/20200617/eu-to-sue-denmark-for-fake-feta/
Reuters, 17/03/2022: EU court adviser faults Denmark for misusing 'feta' name on cheese exports https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-court-adviser-faults-denmark-misusing-feta-name-cheese-exports-2022-03-17/
Euronews, 18/03/2022: Feta call Saul: Denmark's white cheese-labelling crumbles in the face of EU PDO law https://www.euronews.com/culture/2022/03/18/feta-call-saul-denmark-s-white-cheese-labelling-crumbles-in-the-face-of-eu-pdo-law
Greek Reporter, 18/03/2022: EU Court Likely to Rule Against Denmark in Feta Cheese Case https://greekreporter.com/2022/03/18/greece-feta-cheese-case-denmark/
Bloomberg, 14/07/2022: Denmark Falls Foul of EU Rules in Fight Over Feta Exports https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-14/denmark-falls-foul-of-eu-rules-in-fight-over-feta-exports#xj4y7vzkg
Greek Reporter, 14/07/2022: Denmark Loses Court Case Over “Feta” https://greekreporter.com/2022/07/14/denmark-feta-greece-eu-court/
EurActiv, 14/07/2022: Top EU court backs Greece against Denmark in closure of feta export saga https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/top-eu-court-backs-greece-against-denmark-in-closure-of-feta-export-saga/
Forbes Magazine, 14/07/2022: Cheese Fight: EU Court Scolds Denmark, Rules Feta Is Exclusively Greek https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianbushard/2022/07/14/cheese-fight-eu-court-scolds-denmark-rules-feta-is-exclusively-greek/
Deutsche Welle, 14/07/2022: 'Feta' is Greek, EU top court rules, stopping Denmark from using designation https://p.dw.com/p/4E7tz
Reuters, 14/07/2022: 'Feta' is Greek, EU top court says in snub to Denmark https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/feta-is-greek-eu-top-court-says-snub-denmark-2022-07-14/
The Guardian, 14/07/2022: Hard cheese: EU court scolds Denmark over feta labels in win for Greece https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/14/feta-is-greek-rules-eu-court-denmark-told-stop-use-name
Times of Malta, 14/07/2022: Denmark loses ‘feta war’ https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/denmark-loses-feta-war.968254
Politico, 14/07/2022: Feta accompli: Denmark loses Greek cheese fight at top EU court https://www.politico.eu/article/feta-accompli-denmark-loses-greek-cheese-fight-at-top-eu-court/

CJEU CURIA: Case C-159/20 | Commission v Denmark (AOP Feta) https://curia.europa.eu/juris/documents.jsf?num=C-159/20
CJEU: Press Release No 47/22, 17/03/2022: Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-159/20 Commission v Denmark https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-03/cp220047en.pdf
CJEU: Press Release No 125/22, 14/07/2022: Judgment of the Court in Case C-159/20 | Commission v Denmark (PDO Feta) https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2022-07/cp220125en.pdf

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