Special regional handicraft products such as Solingen knives are to be given an EU quality seal in the future. This would put traditional handicraft and industrial products such as jewelry, textiles, glass or porcelain on an equal footing with the protected geographical indications for food, as the EU states announced on Wednesday night after an agreement was reached between negotiators in the European Parliament and the EU countries. Parliament and EU states still have to formally approve the agreement.

So far, there have only been labels of origin for regional specialties such as Parmesan, champagne, Hessian apple wine, Black Forest ham or Spreewald gherkins. “Customers who buy Solingen cutlery or Meissner porcelain, for example, then have the certainty that the products they have purchased are not fakes or imitations,” said Marion Walsmann, a CDU politician involved in the negotiations. Only two products are currently protected at national level: Solingen cutlery and Glashütte watches. “But we have many more regional products in Germany that are worth protecting throughout Europe.”

The agreement goes back to a proposal by the EU Commission. She also hopes that the project will bring more tourists to the production sites, create jobs and increase the general competitiveness of the regions.