European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said Monday in Madrid that the EU bloc “hopes to announce a political agreement for this Christmas in Buenos Aires” with Mercosur “even though technical aspects remain to be discussed.”
Paraguay has stated it is time to put an end to the ideological bias of the Union of South American Nations, Unasur, and recover its integration profile which was the main purpose of its creation. A foreign ministers summit of the region will address and advance the issue.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Tuesday that no one will be able to remove his country from the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), although the bloc's founders are considering a suspension for failure to fulfill commitments as an Associate State.
Negotiations for a trade and cooperation agreement between Mercosur and the European Union must continue and should not be overshadowed by political issues such as the impeachment process in Brazil, pointed out Paraguay's foreign minister Eladio Loizaga, following a motion by 15 Green Euro and United Left parliamentarians in Strasbourg to cancel discussions because of the corruption contaminated removal of Dilma Rousseff.
Paraguay said Mercosur will continue to function and is waiting for a reply from Uruguay to confirm a collegiate presidency of the block, until Argentina takes the helm at the end of the year. If not, Mercosur members are well aware that the the same way they decided to belong to the group, they can walk away...
Paraguay's foreign minister Eladio Loizaga anticipated that the Mercosur coordinators meeting scheduled to take place this Tuesday in Montevideo, will be definitive since a proposal to solve the current acephaly of the block's presidency which was self proclaimed by Venezuela and questioned by other members, will emerge.
The coordinators of Mercosur founding members will decide next 23 August at a meeting in Montevideo on the legal measures to be applied on Venezuela, which self proclaimed itself the presidency of the group and is also questioned for not complying with the rules and regulations to be incorporated to the group. In that case Venezuela could lose its full member status.
Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina are waiting for a report on Venezuela´s compliance with the accords agreed in 2012, which has to delivered next Friday 12 August, and could lead the group of three counties deciding the suspension of Caracas as full member of Mercosur. A week and a half later, 23 August, representatives of these countries will be meeting to address the issue.
Mercosur's disarray and fault lines were again exposed when Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay insisted that Venezuela's self proclamation as president of the group was invalid, and also expressed disappointment with Uruguay for having ended its mandate last Saturday causing great uncertainty.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay have announced they do not support Venezuela as the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur, further deepening controversy in the group which could even hinder ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union and closer links with the Pacific Alliance.