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“Unlikely there will be a Mercosur/EU trade deal” in 2011 says Irish minister

Thursday, March 31st 2011 - 07:35 UTC
Full article 15 comments
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney: powerful countries such as France are more opposed than Ireland Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney: powerful countries such as France are more opposed than Ireland

Ireland believes it looks increasingly unlikely that there will be a Mercosur-European Union trade deal before the end of the year. Mercosur and the EU resumed trade talks in May 2010 with the objective of reaching a deal by the end of 2011.

“Ten days ago, I was convinced a deal was on the cards within six weeks” said Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney during a conference on Tuesday in Dublin. “But now I think it is unlikely that there will be a deal before the end of the year.”

Coveney said that powerful countries such as France were even more opposed to a Mercosur deal than the Irish.

The minister added: “You don't get things done in Brussels by banging the table and making demands. I'm going to focus on building alliances so that we have allies around the table.”

Precisely regarding CAP (Common Agriculture Policy) reform, Coveney said that Ireland was well positioned to defend its national envelope. He added that Ireland “had already formed alliances with France and Spain on this issue of average payment per hectare”.

EU and Mercosur had a last round of negotiations in Brussels earlier this month and apparently one of the few things on which the two sides could agree is to meet again next May in Asunción, Paraguay that currently holds the rotating chair of the South American trade block.

A strong statement from the European Parliament (in support of the farm lobby) demanding the terms of any trade agreement with Mercosur to be scrutinized by Strasbourg, have severely conditioned the European Commission negotiators’ margin of action, according to Mercosur diplomatic sources.

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  • GeoffWard

    Ireland, France and Spain - countries whose farming lobby are the most powerful internal & EU voice.
    But who has most to gain/lose - EU or Mercosur?
    I would argue - the EU.
    Huge EU populations and need to import animal protein.
    Mercosur long-term contracts that could easily be placed elsewhere, like China.
    The problem is in Europe, and heads need banging together - with, of course, the usual political trade-offs.

    Mar 31st, 2011 - 07:52 pm 0
  • Fido Dido

    Ireland, France and Spain - countries whose farming lobby are ”the most powerful internal & EU voice of CRYING BABIES.

    Laughable, they are nothing without subsidies. But don't worry, this is the real deal with those countries.

    Ireland = Toasted (Today, Irish banks need more bailout money)
    Spain= Pending (It's getting Closer)
    France= Pending

    EU is on Fire.

    Mar 31st, 2011 - 09:16 pm 0
  • briton

    The EU certainly is in trouble, we know my opinion on the crappy EU,
    but the more countries the EU bail out, the more chances you have of seeing the UK pull out, and others may well put up barriers against them, you just cant keep bailing out no hopers that just sit their and wait for you to give them money, as FIDO said, Ireland today is asking for another 20 billion, and state that they are at last being honest about the banks, this then puts the rest under the scope as to the true debt they may be hiding, remember the UK bailed its own banks out to over 35 billion plus, why then should the UK tax payer bail out others,
    their debt there problem, but once again you can bet under the counter corrupt deals with politicians will save the day, and the tax payers will lose the day ??

    Mar 31st, 2011 - 10:25 pm 0
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