Slovenia's Minister of Agriculture Dejan Zidan will meet with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan on Thursday to express his opposition to a compromise solution that would allow Croatian wine producers in Istria to sell Istrian Teran wine on the common EU market.
I have requested the meeting because we are opposed to the planned solution from Brussels which would allow Croatia to use the name of Teran as an exception, Zidan told a press conference on Wednesday.
"My main message to Commissioner Hogan will be that he should be aware that this issue is very important for Slovenia and that it has first-class political significance," Zidan said.
"The fight for Teran is essential for us. It represents the struggle for Slovenia's position in the European Union," he said, adding that Slovenia demands exclusive geographic protection of its wine at the EU level.
"We are united on that matter in Slovenia and prepared for various scenarios," he said.
Citing unnamed sources in Brussels, Slovenian media reported three weeks ago that the EC had requested Croatia to temporarily put a new bill on hold which would allow Croatia to label wine showing the sort of grape used to produce it. Brussels is unhappy that Ljubljana and Zagreb have failed for two years to find a solution to the dispute and that the EC will launch proceedings for a compromise decision.
The proposal would allow Croatia to label its Teran wine - "Hrvatska Istra" and "Teran" in smaller font to distinguish it from Slovenia's Refosk wine and Croatia's Teran wine which originates from Istria.
Zidan protested then, saying that that compromise solution violated EU acquis communautaire and that he was not ruling out the possibility of Slovenia suing the European Commission.