The elephant in the hall of the EU-CELAC summit

European Union (EU) f Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) is holding a summit in Brussels today and tomorrow, Tuesday, about which they are planning a difficult issue: the ratification of the trade agreement between the European bloc and Mercosur.

Negotiations waver Since 1999And despite the announcement of the Doctrine of Understanding in 2019, diplomats and negotiators on both sides of the Atlantic are trying to overcome major obstacles. This translates to that deal It has not been ratified in all parliaments.

In the European Union, it is France that puts up the greatest number of obstacles, and in South America, Brazil is trying to improve the terms of the treaty affecting About 500 million people.

The Brussels summit will not focus specifically on the agreement between the EU and Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), because it is dedicated to the political relations between the European bloc and the group of 33 CELAC countries.

However, although the agreement concerns only 4 of the 33 countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, this summit was seen as the perfect scenario for the EU and Mercosur to finally show the white smoke of the agreement, a prospect that seems far-fetched now.

Presidency of Spain

Spain, which on July 1 of this year assumed the semi-annual rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, insisted that rapprochement with the countries of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States is a priority, and expressed the hope that the Brussels summit would be a framework for the declaration.

See also  Radio Havana Cuba | The Cuban government reiterates its support for the rights of the Palestinian people

But given the deadlock in the talks and the very real possibility that no deal has yet been reached, a senior Spanish diplomat warned afp That Brussels meetingIt will be a political summit, not a negotiating summit».

to the ambassador Gustavo BandianiThe Argentine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs for Latin American Affairs said that the Brussels summit will be about “consultations and political dialogue, about broad political lines. We will not talk about prices.”

In addition, he recalls, “Somebody announced four years ago that we had an agreement, and we’re still discussing it now. So we probably didn’t have an agreement at that time.” Mauricio Macri.

For this reason, in response to a question about what his country expects at this summit regarding the agreement Pandiani “Not much, because the summit is not a place for trade negotiations, but rather a political forum,” he said.

France asks for guarantees

In France, a source from the powerful Ministry of Economy noted, “The country’s position is clear: We are waiting for guarantees, especially in environmental matters. (…) At the moment, we do not feel that there is much progress in this matter.

In June 2019, during the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, the parties involved announced an agreement in principle, amid widespread relief after 20 years of negotiations.

However, difficulties were not long in coming, and the process bogged down again.

The first warning arose from the administration of the then President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaroabout the environment in general and the Amazon rainforest in particular.

See also  The Costa Rican government has committed itself to finding a solution for the indigenous community

In addition, in 2020, the European Union adopted a Green Chartera rigorous and ambitious set of standards for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

In this context, various European countries called on the European Union to include a special chapter on environmental protection in the agreement, to prevent the promotion of deforestation in Mercosur in favor of exporting agricultural products.

After many marches and counter-rallies, the European Union submitted a set of proposals to Mercosur in March this year for this additional instrument of environmental commitments.

Brazil’s counterproposal

However, the proposal was not well received, particularly by Brazil, since it turned voluntary targets into binding targets in light of international agreements, and exposed the country to penalties in case of non-compliance.

The two sides scheduled a meeting on 26 June to discuss Mercosur’s counterproposal, although the appointment expired after a delay.

Brazil announced that it is finalizing its counter-proposal, which still needs to be discussed with Mercosur partners before it is submitted to the EU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *