Slovenia sues EU over protected wine name

Ljubljana (AFP) –


Slovenia has filed a lawsuit against the European Commission for allowing winemakers in neighbouring Croatia to use a wine name already protected by Ljubljana, the government said Friday.

"Slovenia filed a suit convinced that the disputed EU decision -- allowing Croatian winemakers to use the 'teran' name -- is illegal and its implementation will have economic repercussions for the Slovenian producers of Teran," the agriculture ministry said in a statement on its website.

Teran, a grape grown in the red soils of Slovenia's rocky Karst plateau, has had protected EU status since the country joined the bloc in 2004.

But in May, the European Commission adopted an amendment allowing winemakers from Croatia's Istria peninsula to use the "teran" designation for one of its wines under certain conditions.

Slovenia insists that such an exception was never mentioned during accession talks that preceded Croatia joining the European Union in 2013.

The suit was filed with the EU General Court (ECG) and called for the exception to be annulled.

Relations between Slovenia and Croatia, both formerly part of Yugoslavia, have become strained of late, in particular over a dispute over their maritime border in the Piran Bay.