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Montevideo, October 5th 2022 - 18:56 UTC

 

 

Madrid Summit

Wednesday, May 15th 2002 - 21:00 UTC
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The Latinamerican-European Union summit to be held this week in Madrid, a step more towards the attainment of a “strategic association agreement” between the two blocks, is expected to announce the conclusion of talks for a free trade agreement with Chile and the updating of a similar successful agreement with Mexico.

A total 48 heads of state and government are scheduled to participate in the two days discussions that are an attempt by the Europeans to promote trade and counterbalance the US initiative to create a free trade association in the Americas, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, by the year 2005.

But as with the United States, there are several stumbling blocks of which agriculture, fisheries and access to markets are most controversial and disputed.

However in this occasion and in spite of the great coverage given to the event, not much can be actually expected.

To start with France is in the midst of legislative elections and Paris is crucial when it comes to discussing agriculture.

Besides the Argentine crisis, that has left many European uncertain about their investments, has slowed, almost frozen the bilateral Mercosur-EU projects with the exception of those in the political field.

For the next decade the European Union will be concentrated in absorbing ten new members, most of them former soviet republics, all agricultural dependant and strong candidates for subsidies from Brussels purse.

Not even Spanish enthusiasm for Latinamerica can hide the fact that even when European investments in the region are considerable the volume of bilateral trade is not significant by EU standards.

Spain itself also has to think twice, next June it will hand the European Commission chair to the least Euro-believer of all current members, Denmark, and most certainly with the prospect of new EU members, Madrid must begin to prepare for when it will have to help pay the inflated subsidy bill.

Categories: Mercosur.

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