Thursday, January 17th 2013 - 23:45 UTC

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.

Both sides have to prove that negotiations have the sufficient political motivation

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.

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1 Shed-time (#) Jan 17th, 2013 - 11:55 pm Report abuse
European parliament thought that letting Spanish fishermen destroy our fish stocks whilst receiving subsidies to do no fishing, was a good idea.

This one seems of similar quality.
2 redpoll (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 12:32 am Report abuse
Why bother? Another freebie for the drones of Brussels?
3 JohnN (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 12:47 am Report abuse
Shouldn't be any discussions EU- Mercosur until and unless Mercosur commits in writing to respect the borders and territories of all EU members - including the EU-listed Overseas Territories listed of Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain and the UK.


This includes the Falkland Islands together with South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

4 Marcos Alejandro (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 05:12 am Report abuse
3 JohnN
Respect our own borders John?
Malvinas, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is part of Argentina.
Did you study geography back in school?
Never too late for that.
5 Idlehands (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 07:47 am Report abuse
Care to explain the basis for your claim to South Georgia?
6 agent999 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 09:34 am Report abuse
A long way still to go then.

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”.

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.
7 Idlehands (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 11:04 am Report abuse
Nothing will happen until CFK is gone. Her policies are diametrically opposite to the aims of an FTA
8 pgerman (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 12:05 pm Report abuse
In “an open mind and mutual trust”? How the hell is Argentina going to trust the UK? How is the UK going to trust Argentina?

Can you imagine CFK traveling on a British owned plane to hug Mr. Cameron? After having said so many cheap jingoistic speeches?

Can you imagine Cameron after so many threats and alleged plans of defense against Argentine threats hugging CFK? Who waste 400/360 million pounds in a garrison to protect you from a partner of you..

It seesm to be a good opportunity for Argentina to “get some sticks in the wheel.”
9 agent999 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:01 pm Report abuse
@8 pgerman

This is not about Argentina and the UK - it is about Mercosur and the EU.

You lie again about this 400/360 million pounds spent on the Falkland Islands.
10 pgerman (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:16 pm Report abuse
Dear agent999

Well but Argentina belongs to Mercosur and the UK to EU and both anre very important members of these agreements.

I'm sorry, yes, I lie, having jets, frigates, submarines, icebreakers, misiles, troops it's for free because if they are not in FI they would be in another part of the world. So the garrison is free !!!
11 Condorito (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:23 pm Report abuse
@4 Guzz,
I thought the claim was based on history not geography.

@9 agent999,
What pgerman is saying is that there is no trust because of Argentina's position towards the FI. Which is quite right.
12 pgerman (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:29 pm Report abuse
Dear Condorito,

It's quite clear that I'm saying that there is no trust.

Argentina claims the islands, the UK alert that Argentina would invade the islands again. The UK is wasting a fortune to “protect” the islands from the Argentine “impressive war machine” (no matter that some people stand that the garrison is for free).

How can these two very important members of the UE and Mercosur be part of a wide commercial agreement? It' simply imposible..
13 andy65 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:32 pm Report abuse
@Marcos Alejandro Yes The British teach geography very well unlike ARGENTINE PRIMARAY SCHOOL CHILDREN who are filled with propoganda from a very young age
14 agent999 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:43 pm Report abuse

I have never said the garrison was free, what I dispute is your imaginary figure of 400/360 million pounds.
15 GALlamosa (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:44 pm Report abuse
“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.”

Discussions looking pretty unlikely then.
16 pgerman (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 01:46 pm Report abuse
Dear andy65

Your Comment is right. Several ships sent by the UK Crown had explored and mapped the coasts of the Patagonia long before Argentine did the same.
In fact, as both countries were friends and partners they shared the information available.
Francisco Pascasio Moreno contacted, and personally met in London, the great Charles Darwin when he was part of the Argentinian comitte in the border dispute with Chile.
In gratitude to this help and assistance the iconic Mount Fizt Roy (located in Santa Cruz) has the name of the British sailor, explorer and NZ Governor.
17 JohnN (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 02:20 pm Report abuse
With the Falkland Islands' community own referendum, a vote to remain in association and continue to enjoy the protection of Britain puts pressure on Britain not to abandon the Falkland Islands community to CFK's Argentine machine.

So EU-Mercosur negotiation is critical timing for UK and for Falklands, given that there may be a referendum for EU membership emerging in the near future.

If the EU appears willing to enter into an agreement with Mercosur without protection for a members OCT, in this case, the Falkland Islands, this information may obviously form at least a part of the consideration of voters in a UK referendum on the EU membership.

Ensuring British protection for OCT Falkland Islands is not only a political matter, but also economic, as the Falkland Islands do appear to enjoy some EU membership economic and trade benefits.
18 pgerman (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 02:34 pm Report abuse
Good point JohnN.

That's another example that the current political situation will have to change before an agreement can be reached. I don't see an agreement with the current governments in both countries.

But the fact is that other members of the EU and Mercosur might be harmed by the FI current political situation.

So, it seems that either the agreement won't be possible or both countries (or just one) will have to cede in the current position and demands.

Based on the fat that CFK (as most of the peronist governments) has political and economic isolationist tendencies most probably the agreement won't be possible in the short term.
19 agent999 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 03:23 pm Report abuse
Lets not overplay the issue between the UK and Argentina involving the Falkland Islands.

“the recent protectionist measures both in trade and investment adopted by some country members from Mercosur in recent months”

“abidance with democratic principles, human rights, fundamental rights and rule of the law as well as regulations referred to social and environment issues”
and many other such links
20 JohnN (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 06:23 pm Report abuse
19 agent999:
If I understand your point correctly, its that Mercosur has sufficient human rights (ie, Chávez' Venezuela) and unfair trade issues that a deal with EU is unlikely?

Indeed, probably right on that, although EU seems to have sufficient internal issues now that they might be grasping at straws, including Mercosur and partners that exhibit similar human rights and unfair trading issues (ie Russia).

However, I just wanted to flag a possibility that even discussion of a EU-Mercosur deal could play a role in a certain event - the Falklands referendum - and in a currently-discussed possibility - a UK referendum on EU membership.
21 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 06:33 pm Report abuse
The EU needs to make serious incursions into South America's trading partnerships - otherwise the USA and China will carve it up between them.
South America needs at least one other world-scale trading bloc to ease this potential polarity. The EU is the biggest in the world, and it should not be beyond the wit of man to manage a trade partnership of some equity.
The USA seems to be mending bridges with many countries within South and Central America.
Slowly, quietly and with subtlety the USA is re-establishing relationships if not friendships ... even with 'Left wing' governments. The countries to the south of the USA - behind the scenes - accept this ... as a counter-balance to being totally bought-out by the Chinese and their camouflaged agencies.

I offer it to you ....
I think that the South American clarion-calls for the rejection of 'militarization' of the south Atlantic (by the Unasur states) is not aimed at the UK per se, but at the UK-US axis, that might broker the lease of a part of the Falkland Islands as a US Fleet base.
To say to China:
“You may be buying up the Continent, but this is OUR sphere of influence. You may buy, trade, and strip South America of its assets, but do NOT think you can develop your military bases around THIS continent.
The Americas are not for you.”
22 agent999 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
You are right my point is that there are more than enough stumbling blocks presented by Mercosur members to delay any real progress on EU/Mercosur trade negotiations.

The Falklands referendum is just over 8 weeks away, the UK referendum is years away.
23 Condorito (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 07:19 pm Report abuse
China really has nothing to do with this.
China is not buying up the continent. Here in Chile, I don't think the Chinese own a single mine, yet they are our biggest trading partner. We sell to them , they buy. That is all there is to it.

China is not a major power in the Pacific. They can't project power beyond the China sea and they have antagonized all their neighbors. They are completely contained by the US and allies. Even France is a more significant Pacific power than China. Or to stretch the point, even us with our Easter Island 'aircraft carrier' reach further into the Pacific than the Chinese can.
24 briton (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 07:22 pm Report abuse
now britain may well leave this sinking ship,

EU/Mercosur trade , well need you to replace us very quickly,

will you guys be using the euros lolol.
25 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 18th, 2013 - 10:43 pm Report abuse
China buys products and raw materials; and it buys land, but only the best land, and usually using 'front companies'.
When countries default on Chinese loans, what will China demand? Agricultural land. And Liebensraum.
Not sertao and dry-lands; China has enough of them. Fertile soils and abundant water. For instance, once-benignly British, Belize may become physically swamped with Guatamalan 'refugees' who will eventually vote in a Guatamalan government for Belize, but the economy is well on the way to becoming Chinese rather than US dominated.

China is just two decades away from naval power-projection across the Pacific and beyond (see Stratfor projections). It will have the hardware, and the US bonds held by China will ensure that the ring of steel that presently hems the Chinese sea becomes porus to China's physical and political expansion.
26 Great Britain (#) Jan 19th, 2013 - 05:50 pm Report abuse
Something that really occurs to me with “colonialism” is that with a few notable exceptions colonies that were partially or wholly founded by the British tend to be 1st world nations, strong, developed economies, powerful in their regions with strong and reliable institutions - the USA, Canada, Australia, the Falklands, Hong-Kong, Singpore being some of our success stories - Let's start listing the Spanish success stories.. : /

Argentina is a basket-case, has been on a cyclical splurge of self-flagellation which it seems is now near the “peak” as CFK's government gradually inflates the combined labour of the nation away to sweet f**k all - wait to see what happens to their economy once the IMF takes action. They seem to have inherited the very worst cultural traits of the Spanish and Italians respectively and despite any other inklings of intelligence seem to have a lemming-like tendency to self-destruct on the mere whims of whichever fascist/populist/statist despot is currently in residence.

I wish all of those living in the Falklands all the best for the referendum and hope you know that GB stands rather solidly behind your rights to self-determination, people question the strength of feeling here but I hope you're aware that many here would enlist tomorrow if a serious threat re-emerged, luckily, for the immediate future the Argentines seem capable only of destroying themselves.

27 briton (#) Jan 19th, 2013 - 07:44 pm Report abuse
thank you GB
CFK just talks to much,
she loves the sound of her own voice.
28 you are not first (#) Jan 20th, 2013 - 02:07 am Report abuse
Marco Alejandro,

Brits do not study Geography. Are you kidding me ??? Imagine how loud Aristoteles and Plato would laugh to hear the term “ DEMOCRATIC MONARCHY ”
29 Condorito (#) Jan 21st, 2013 - 01:54 pm Report abuse
I think you are overly concerned about China.

“When countries default on Chinese loans, what will China demand? ”

South America as a continent has very low government debt (Chile case in point). The Chinese hold more EU/US debt than South American debt by an order of magnitude.

When a country defaults on debt, their borrowing costs rise and they can be shut off from international money markets (Argentina case in point). China holding the debt makes no difference.

I would like to see some evidence that China is buying up South America; and even if it were true, what is the issue with foreigners owning land in any country? It in no way effects the sovereignty of the land.

As for 20 year projections, even the authers don't intend them to be more than interesting conversation topics, hence they re-write them every year. This is what Stratfor said in their 2010 “projection”:

“Chinese economic collapse, game-changing global labor shortages, and continued American dominance because of a gradual retreat from international engagement.”
30 GeoffWard2 (#) Jan 21st, 2013 - 05:39 pm Report abuse
Hi Condor.
It's good to get a discussion going on the buying-up of South American assets - even if it's just you and me!

Argentina limited its sale of its land to 'foreigners' last year to 12%, following a similar batch of legislation in Brasil. 12% of all Argentinian land covers most, if not all, of the agricultural & grazing land of the country! I guess this could be tightened up by the legislature once eg half of it has been transferred into foreign ownership. Remember that the name on the land ownership title deeds may be a 'laranja' ... a legal national surrogate for the real foreign owner.

I guess Brasilian, Chilian and Uraguayan entities might buy up Argentinian real estate/fazendas when the money runs out, but the real money is located in China, the USA and Saudi. China is using its nett profits to buy up debt as well as land, and the 'vultures' are circling over Argentina as we speak.

Regarding 'the sovereignty of the land' .. I guess Argentina might try to force the overseas landowners to sell their arable & livestock only within Argentina, but sequestering supply through farm purchases does not mean sequestering it to supply the nation's poor, it is to provide for THEIR soy/meat products needs.

Re Stratfor .. there are many papers written on the Chinese 'break-out' from the US naval 'impoundment' of the China Seas.
Of couse, if China collapses then all bets are off, but there are still billions of Chinese 'new-middle-class' that need feeding, so the supply chain from South America etc still needs to work. And when people get REALLY hungry they will fight for the food they own. I would hate to be the one to tell the Chinese leadership that they can't have the food that their overseas farms are producing!
31 briton (#) Jan 21st, 2013 - 07:06 pm Report abuse
They may well send in the [ Tongs ]
32 Condorito (#) Jan 21st, 2013 - 07:16 pm Report abuse
I still don't see how China owning land is a threat. Any land they purchase is subject to national laws, just like land owned by other nationals or foreigners.

As for the Chinese going hungry, there are currently hundreds of millions of Chinese living a few dollars a day.

China's need for our food and our resources is a huge opportunity not a threat.

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