France Should Label Israeli Wine From Settlements, EU Advocate General Says

EU legal opinion contradicts 2018 French court's decision not to mark wine bottles produced in the Jewish West Bank settlements

Wine bottles manufactured in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on display at a supermarket in Jerusalem November 11, 2015.
Ariel Schalit / AP

An advocate general of the European Court of Justice released Thursday his legal opinion that a 2018 decision by a French court not to require marking wine bottles produced in Jewish West Bank settlements is invalid.

The advocate general's legal opinions are advisory but usually set the tone for the ruling.
 
Should the ECJ follow the advocate general's opinion it could boost enforcement across the European Union, which is now minimal.

The advocate general noted that EU law requires that a product made on a territory captured by Israel since 1967 be marked as produced in the settlements.

In 2018, a French court granted the Psagot winery's request not to enforce the EU directive to mark products manufactured in the settlements, however, ordered that the ECJ should review the decision since France is subjected to the EU law.

According to the directive, consumers must be explicitly informed whether products were made in the West Bank.

Psagot claimed marking the products is contradictory to the local constitution. 

So far, the EU decision has barely been implemented. Psagot's petition to the ECJ, which led to the advocate general's decision, might cause a more significant enforcement of the EU law, exactly the opposite of what the winery wanted to achieve.

The winery did not receive financial support from the State of Israel during legal proceedings, fearing its request will lead to an unwanted outcome.