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Montevideo, April 24th 2024 - 19:11 UTC



Spain promises to boost stalled EU/Mercosur negotiations

Thursday, June 11th 2009 - 10:10 UTC
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Juan Pablo de Laiglesia is confident much can be achieved next year when Spain holds the EU chair Juan Pablo de Laiglesia is confident much can be achieved next year when Spain holds the EU chair

The financial crisis should be the springboard for a “leap forward” in negotiations for the association agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, said Spain’s Secretary of State for Ibero-America currently on a tour of Mercosur country members.

Juan Pablo de Laiglesia added that Spain will strongly promote the initiative when it holds the chair of the European Union during the first half of 2010.

He admitted that bi-regional negotiations conditioned to the Doha Round results “have been stalled for too long” and currently this delay is not sustainable.

“We want the EU/Mercosur agreement, in which great efforts of both regions are concentrated and which should signal an important step forward during our presidency”, said de Laiglesia.

However he cautioned that much of this depends on the “political will from both sides, from the EU and from Mercosur”.

He added that the current world recession should be the stimulus for cooperation between the EU and overall Latinamerica, and more specifically with Mercosur, “so that we can jointly leap forward convinced that there are no easy solutions at national level”.

De Laiglesia arrived Monday in Buenos Aires; he later travelled to Asunción, Paraguay and is scheduled to end the round Thursday in Montevideo, Uruguay. This is his first visit to the region with the purpose of establishing direct contact with the different officials.

In Paraguay de Laiglesia gave Spain’s full support to President Fernando Lugo’s “agenda of changes” particularly the consolidation of democratic institutions in the land locked country which for 61 years, until 2008, was ruled by an only party.

“Spanish cooperation with Paraguay has more than trebled in the last few years and has become a priority of our overseas aid”, said de Laiglesia. “Our support is concentrated in strengthening democratic institutions, health, education and water and sewage infrastructure”.

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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