Argentine President Cristina Fernandez will attend this Tuesday the leaders' summit of Mercosur in Caracas, Venezuela. The president will travel to Caracas in order to participate in a congress originally scheduled for December 17, but which suffered several postponements.
The private sectors from Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia agreed to form a business lobby, Urupabol, with the purpose of actively combating protectionist policies and other obstacles implemented inside Mercosur, mainly by senior members Argentina and Brazil.
Uruguay's president Jose Mujica will be attending the next Mercosur presidential summit scheduled for Tuesday, 29 July in Caracas, when the creation of an economic forum Mercosur/ALBA/PetroCaribe will for consideration as part of the agenda.
Brazil will propose next Tuesday, in Caracas, during the Mercosur summit that the group and the Pacific Alliance reach an agreement on free trade by the end of the year, according to official sources from Itamaraty.
Mercosur is “not working” and is “stalled” admitted Uruguayan president Jose Mujica and blamed the situation on different visions of the block's functioning, according to an interview with Folha de Sao Paulo.
Former Uruguayan president Julio Maria Sanguinetti and founder of the Montevideo Circle Foundation said Mercosur was not created to become a fortress of hyper protectionism but rather to promote competition and integration with flexibility. Sanguinetti participated in a round of conferences of the Montevideo Circle Foundation in Paraguay.
Former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso said that Mercosur has 'yet to crystallize as a customs union' and pointed to the common external tariff which is the founding stone but is full of objections as the main hurdle. Nevertheless I remain positive about the strength of Mercosur.
The president of the European Commission (EC), Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, called on Friday for concluding negotiations and finalizing a free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The much delayed Mercosur summit will finally take place at the end of the month in Caracas, according to sources from Paraguay and Venezuela. During the last OAS meeting, Venezuelan Foreign minister Elias Jaua confirmed to his Paraguay peer Eladio Loizaga that the date is 29 July and that the consultation process has been completed.
Mercosur leaders called for dialogue with the Pacific Alliance over its perception that Mercosur is becoming an obstacle to integration and wider growth in the region. Uruguayan Vice-President Danilo Astori seemingly sparked the debate a few weeks ago when he said that “Mercosur mustn’t be a terminal station,” calling for formal trade deals with the Pacific Alliance.