European Parliament calls for speeding EU/Mercosur trade negotiations
The European Parliament regretted that negotiations for an association agreement between the European Union and Mercosur remain stalled or have hardly advanced since they officially resumed two years ago.
The Euro chamber called on both sides “to prove that negotiations have the sufficient political motivation” and “the significant political support to ensure an exchange of propositions sufficiently ambitious regarding access to the market of goods, services and investments and the other aspects of the agreement’s trade chapter”.
The resolution was sponsored by the European Popular Party, the Social Democrats and the Liberal Alliance.
The members of the European parliament said that to achieve success with the negotiations, both sides must address discussions with “an open mind and mutual trust”.
To that effect MEPs are ‘exploring’ the recent protectionist measures both in trade and investment adopted by some country members from Mercosur in recent months.
Likewise the declaration underlines the importance of including abidance with democratic principles, human rights, fundamental rights and rule of the law as well as regulations referred to social and environment issues.
The next EU/Mercosur round of talks is scheduled for the end of January in the sidelines of the (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) Celac/EU summit to take place in Santiago de Chile, “a great opportunity for clear and significant political commitments and to further advance with negotiations”.
Since the resumption of talks back in 2010, discussions have centred in the norms and regulations chapters without any fixed date for the exchange of market access proposals.
According to data from the European Commission, the EU is the main trade partner of Mercosur, while the South American block is the eighth trade partner of Europe.
EU exports to Mercosur members have increased from 28bn Euros in 2007, to 45bn in 2011. The EU is also the main exporter of commercial services to Mercosur (13.4bn Euros in 2010) as well as the main foreign direct investor with 236bn Euros compared to 130bn in 2000.
Mercosur currently has five full members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela with Bolivia in the process of incorporation.