Mercosur could end up with a High Representative post following this coming presidential summit in Foz de Iguazu. According to Brazilian sources the initiative has been discussed with partners Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay and should be approved next Thursday/Friday.
“It’s a Brazilian proposal and it should be approved. In an international meeting any last minute problem can change original plans but the negotiations have concluded and the proposal as laid out should be approved”, said Marcelo Baumbach, spokesperson for the Brazilian Executive.
The High representative is to be nominated by the Common Market Council, CMC, with a three year mandate and an only re-election chance. Its main task will be to create the ‘necessary consensus” within the block; promote initiatives; international display of the block’s activities; coordinate the different organizations that are part of the block and sponsor proposals to improve integration.
“It will necessarily be someone with a political background”, underlined Baumabach who nevertheless said no names had been anticipated or proposed for the job.
Baumbach said that the coming summit will be the official farewell of President Lula da Silva and takes place at a favourable moment for Mercosur.
“In 2010 the situation was extremely positive for Mercosur since the region was able to overcome the global financial crisis and the strong expansion of the country-members economies contributed to appease tensions that had impacted on Mercosur in previous years”.
Other issues in the agenda are the consolidation of the customs’ union with the purpose of reducing Mercosur common external tariff as well as a draft to create a Citizenship Statute to be implemented in ten years. The Statute is seeing as an instrument to ensure the free circulation inside the block by imposing standard ID and other documents.
Presidents from Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; Brazil, Lula da Silva; Paraguay, Fernando Lugo; Uruguay, Jose Mujica as well as associate members Evo Morales from Bolivia and Sebastian Piñera from Chile have confirmed attendance to the summit.
Lula da Silva is accompanied by president-elect Dilma Rousseff who will be participating of the presidential dinner Thursday evening but on Friday must return to Brasilia since the Electoral Superior Tribunal will be handing her the document that makes official her presidential victory last October 31.