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C 92 E/190 Official Journal of the European Union EN 17.4.

2003

That said, the Honourable Member will doubtless recall that most Community funded projects in Laos are
located in areas of high densities of ethnic minorities. The Commission’s Country Strategy for Laos also
deliberately targets such groups as priority beneficiaries.

(2003/C 92 E/249) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2599/02


by Janelly Fourtou (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Trademark law in Poland

The Polish Sejm (lower house of Parliament) is soon to decide on an amendment to the law on definitions
and designations of spirituous beverages, which would make the Polish brand of vodka Wyborowa (duly
registered for many years with the Polish Trademark Office on behalf of the producer company Pomos
Poznan, which is owned by the company Pernod Ricard SA) into a generic name. Were it to adopt this
amendment, the Sejm would be going against the government’s original bill and the recommendations of
the country’s Minister for European Integration, the Polish Trademark Office and the Polish Senate.
Apparently, the Commission’s services also endorse these recommendations.

If adopted, the amendment would deprive the brand of its distinctive character, as the exclusive rights it
enjoys would be lost, enabling anyone to produce spirits bearing the name Wyborowa. This would
undermine the protection enjoyed by the name Wyborowa, rather than improving it.

What representations will the Commission make to the Sejm in order to avert what would be a flagrant
breach of intellectual property rights in a country applying for accession to the European Union?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(31 October 2002)

The Honourable Member draws attention to the possibility of the Polish parliament adopting a law
rendering the Polish brand of vodka Wyborova a generic name.

In Poland as in other candidate countries for accession into the EU, the Commission closely monitors the
gradual adaptation of national rules and regulations to the Community legislation. This adaptation is,
however, an enormous task and in many areas this involves overcoming the resistance of interest groups
and calling for major powers of persuasion.

In the case the Honourable Member refers to, the Polish authorities were duly informed about the risk that
adoption of a law containing provisions incompatible with the Community rules would entail serious
consequences. The Commission is therefore pleased to inform the Honourable Member that the Polish
parliament took the same position as the government and the Polish senate and the law finally adopted on
13 September 2002 is in compliance with Community law.

(2003/C 92 E/250) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2611/02


by Jan Mulder (ELDR) to the Commission

(18 September 2002)

Subject: Transport/marketing of unmarked cattle from nature reserves

The management of nature parks and other protected areas is becoming increasingly important in the
European Union. The recent debate in the Netherlands on the fate of Scottish Highland cattle in the
Veluwezoom national park made it clear that the transport and marketing of these unmarked animals
present problems.