Ministers Podgoršek and Patuanelli support cross-border promotion of rebula wine
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry of the Italian Republic, Stefano Patuanelli, paid a visit to Slovenia at the invitation of his Slovenian counterpart, Jože Podgoršek. The two ministers discussed topics of mutual interest. After the meeting, they attended the unveiling ceremony of a monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Zvonimir Simčič, the father of Rebula wine and for many years the director-general of the Goriška Brda Cooperative Wine Cellar. The honorary speaker at the event was the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor.
In a bilateral meeting this morning, Ministers Podgoršek and Patuanelli discussed various topical issues. Minister Podgoršek began by highlighting the traditionally good and friendly cooperation between Slovenia and Italy and thanked his Italian counterpart for his support and constructive cooperation during Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU: "Slovenia and Italy cooperate extremely well in many different areas, including agriculture, fisheries and forestry. I have also thanked the minister for the exceptional support during Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. Our good cooperation has also been evident during today’s visit.”
The two ministers began their discussion on the topic of Rebula wine, which is “at home” in Goriška Brda, where the meeting took place. "Today’s meeting is a strong political signal to cross-border cooperation in promoting Rebula. This is a point on which my Italian colleague and I agreed today. We have to bear in mind that it is people who set the boundaries, while nature does not see them, so in this regard our close cooperation continues. I thank Minister Patuanelli for his support, and we are also working on technical aspects of a memorandum on joint promotional appearances, which we will sign when it is coordinated. I believe that this is an important step towards the further development of the region, both economically and culturally," Minister Podgoršek said.
The two ministers also discussed forestry. In this area, the two countries have a significant share of forests with a protective function – forests that protect themselves, the land and the infrastructure beneath them. Both countries also participate in a working sub-group within the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which deals with the protective function of forests. “The topic we talked about knows no borders between countries. This is climate change. And in the future, this topic will be increasingly anchored in the good cooperation of neighbouring countries. In this respect, we will take into account all elements of sustainable forest management," Minister Podgoršek emphasised.
The two ministers further touched upon trilateral cooperation with a view to implementing the provisions of the Common Fisheries Policy in the Adriatic Sea. Minister Podgoršek also thanked Minister Patuanelli "for Italy's support during our Presidency of the Council of the EU in the process of shaping the fisheries policy at the EU level."
The two ministers also focused on the cross-border cooperation under Interreg Italy-Slovenia 2021–2027. Another example of successful cross-border project cooperation is the project entitled "FARmEAT – From Pasture to Table: enhancement of cross-border rural areas through zootechnics sustainable development", which was born out of the need to evaluate the livestock sector in the Italian–Slovenian border area.
The two statesmen expressed their satisfaction with today’s bilateral meeting and underlined that the good cooperation between the two countries in agriculture, winemaking, forestry and fisheries will continue in the future.
After the bilateral meeting, they attended a ceremonial event – the unveiling of a monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Zvonimir Simčič, the father of Rebula wine and for many years the director-general of the Goriška Brda Cooperative Wine Cellar. The honorary speaker at the event was the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor.