The approval of the new composition for the Mercosur Parliament scheduled to be agreed later this month at the group’s presidential summit in Paraguay could be postponed given conflicting interests on supra-national decisions.
Host Paraguay has anticipated that the expansion of the Mercosur legislative body following population representation guidelines, which will give Brazil and Argentina a larger number of members, is conditioned to the approval and creation of the Supranational Justice Tribunal which will decide on trade disputes.
The decision was announced this week by Paraguayan Foreign Affairs minister Hector Lacognata following a meeting with the current Paraguayan representatives in Parlasur.
The Mercosur parliament which was inaugurated in May 2007 currently has 72 benches, 18 for each country member which means Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay have the same number of representatives.
But under the new scheme, based on population, Brazil will have 36 representatives, Argentina, 26 and Paraguay and Uruguay, 18 each. The new parliamentary composition and the creation of the Supranational Justice Tribunal were jointly approved last April 28th in Asuncion by Parlasur.
According to diplomatic sources Argentina and Uruguay do not support a trade’s differences tribunal which entails further consequences. Paraguay on the other hand is pushing for such a tribunal because the current Standing Review tribunal has no entailing powers regarding trade issues.
“We have to guarantee the proportionality of Parlasur as long as simultaneously there are advances in the creation of the Supranational Tribunal, which is crucial for Mercosur. There is no resolution instance for trade controversies”, said Minister Lacognata.