Ireland believes it looks increasingly unlikely that there will be a Mercosur-European Union trade deal before the end of the year. Mercosur and the EU resumed trade talks in May 2010 with the objective of reaching a deal by the end of 2011.
Ten days ago, I was convinced a deal was on the cards within six weeks said Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney during a conference on Tuesday in Dublin. But now I think it is unlikely that there will be a deal before the end of the year.
Coveney said that powerful countries such as France were even more opposed to a Mercosur deal than the Irish.
The minister added: You don't get things done in Brussels by banging the table and making demands. I'm going to focus on building alliances so that we have allies around the table.
Precisely regarding CAP (Common Agriculture Policy) reform, Coveney said that Ireland was well positioned to defend its national envelope. He added that Ireland “had already formed alliances with France and Spain on this issue of average payment per hectare”.
EU and Mercosur had a last round of negotiations in Brussels earlier this month and apparently one of the few things on which the two sides could agree is to meet again next May in Asunción, Paraguay that currently holds the rotating chair of the South American trade block.
A strong statement from the European Parliament (in support of the farm lobby) demanding the terms of any trade agreement with Mercosur to be scrutinized by Strasbourg, have severely conditioned the European Commission negotiators’ margin of action, according to Mercosur diplomatic sources.