Ecuador negotiation to join Mercosur as full member begin next month
Mercosur will officially begin negotiation with Mercosur for its inclusion as full member in September announced the Brazilian news agency, ABR on Sunday. The meeting is scheduled for September 15 when the incorporation preliminaries will be addressed.
“The first step to turn on the process was given by Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa who made the formal request last December during the Montevideo Mercosur summit” said the release recalling that on 31 July Venezuela joined Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, as the fifth full member of the group.
Currently Ecuador has the status of Associate State together with Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Peru. To be accepted ad full member of Mercosur a consensus decision must be agreed by the five member countries, and later ratified by the five parliaments.
However the release also points out that it is yet unknown how long the process can take since above all Ecuador and Mercosur must agree on the mechanisms so that the new member adjusts to the Common External tariff, AEC, and must also adapt to the new nomenclature of the group.
Besides Ecuador must find ways to articulate its incorporation as full member with its simultaneous belonging to the Andean Community of Nations, CAN, of which it currently holds the pro-tempore presidency. It took Venezuela six full years to have access to Mercosur since the Paraguayan Senate systematically rejected the inclusion of the country ruled by President Hugo Chavez.
Following the suspension of Paraguay from Mercosur which was decided by the three other members on June 29 during the mid year summit in Mendoza, the presidents of Argentina Cristina Fernandez, Brazil, Dilma Rousseff and Uruguay’s Jose Mujica immediately decided the incorporation of Venezuela, an issue which has triggered an ongoing controversy.