The European Commission has published the application to register the names ‘Χαλλουμι’ (Halloumi)/‘Hellim’, in Greek and Turkish, as Protected Designations of Origin for a cheese produced in all the territory of the island of Cyprus.
The EC says that “the publication is a key step in the process that would grant EU-wide protection for these names, and include them in the list of well-known high quality European products.”
In order to facilitate trade, the Commission has also adopted a proposal to modify the Green Line Regulation.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:
“This step demonstrates the commitment of both communities of Cyprus to work together on projects unifying the whole island. I would like to commend and pay tribute to the two Leaders for their efforts that make possible this outcome. The common understanding reached around this application is highly symbolic and it confirms the willingness of the two parties to work together with the help of the Commission to build confidence with concrete measures. Halloumi/Hellim cheese symbolises the shared heritage of the island of Cyprus. It is a tradition which has linked the communities living here for centuries.”
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said:
“I am very pleased to see this application covering the whole of Cyprus go ahead. Following many months of negotiations, we are now well on our way to showing what can be achieved when people commit to concrete results. In particular, I want to acknowledge the role played by the Minister of Agriculture Mr Nicos Kouyialis, who has shown a huge personal commitment and given real leadership to getting to the point where we have been able to publish this application. Geographical indications have demonstrated their potential for creating jobs and boosting farm income in rural areas throughout the EU, and I am confident that the successful registration of ‘Χαλλουμι’ (Halloumi)/‘Hellim’ will do the same in Cyprus.”
European Commissioner for Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Creţu said:
“The amendment to the Green Line Regulation will further facilitate trade and boost the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community; this is a task given to the Commission in order to support the reunification of Cyprus. We will further step up the necessary efforts and financial support to foster growth.”
EU Commission press release