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Malvinas dispute a ‘bilateral issue’ which is not included in the EU agenda

Tuesday, January 31st 2012 - 05:35 UTC
Full article 46 comments
Ambassador Alfonso Diez Torres: no reason to amend the Lisbon treaty to exclude the Falklands as demanded by Argentina Ambassador Alfonso Diez Torres: no reason to amend the Lisbon treaty to exclude the Falklands as demanded by Argentina

European Union ambassador in Buenos Aires Alfonso Diez Torres said that the Falklands/Malvinas issue does not figure in the foreign affairs agenda of the EU, it’s a bilateral issue and he does not see any reason to amend the Lisbon treaty to exclude the disputed South Atlantic Islands as demanded by Argentina.

“The Falklands/Malvinas issue does not belong to the framework of the EU foreign policy. We have a foreign policy that does not cover everything, besides the EU criteria is that there must be a full consensus”, said Diez Torres interviewed by La Nacion.

The EU ambassador explained that there is certain confusion regarding the Lisbon treaty since the fact that the Falklands/Malvinas are included is “merely descriptive”. Member states enumerate their overseas territories and in this case “it’s an article from previous treaties”.

“This does not imply acknowledgement of UK sovereignty over the Falklands/Malvinas by EU members. This must be defined bilaterally between the UK and Argentina. The fact today is that the Islands are under British jurisdiction and this must be discussed with Argentina. It’s senseless to amend the Lisbon Treaty, otherwise Spain could not have signed with the UK the EU treaty because of the Gibraltar dispute, so definitively it does not make sense to pretend to amend the Lisbon treaty, which would also require the unanimity of all EU parliaments and the different procedures”, pointed out Diez Torres.

Talking about other EU/Argentina bilateral issues such as trade and the President Cristina Fernandez administration current policy of limiting imports, the EU ambassador said these measures are not helpful and one or several EU members could decide not to open their markets to Argentina.

“As we see it there are clear indications Argentina wants a highly competitive industry and not based on protectionism, thus we believe that the trade agreement Mercosur/EU would be crucial to foster investment”, said Diez Torres.

About the possibility of the EU appealing to the World Trade Organization, WTO, because of Argentina’s policy, the ambassador was cautious and said it was not a question of dramatizing. “When these things occur the procedure is to make a request before the WTO and we know that the WTO is concerned about this attitude and the case in under analysis, but so far there has been no decision to move forward to the following step or to demand sanctions”.

The Argentine debt with the Club of Paris of sovereign creditors was also brought up and described by the EU ambassador as one of the pending issues to normalize full economic relations, “it would be a signal to grant Argentina greater confidence”.

“If one compares the Argentine macroeconomic and growth situations with investment confidence indexes it is evident there is a misbalance which can be explained because of situations of this kind (Club of Paris)” insisted the EU diplomat.

The EU remains the main investor in Argentina and in the long term a “trade and investment agreement between Mercosur and the EU could represent a seal of quality that goes beyond any legal or contractual doubts that could exist”.

Finally regarding the consequences of the Euro debt crisis, Diez Torres said that a slower economic activity in the EU means lesser exports, “but at the same time the need to search for new emerging markets and that can be seen as the positive side of any crisis”.

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  • Teaboy2

    Well Gibralter is infact an EU member country after joing the EU having joined the European Economic Community with the United Kingdom in 1973. Article 355(3) (ex Article 299(4)) applies the treaty to “the European territories for whose external relations a Member State is responsible”, a provision which in practice only applies to Gibraltar.

    So the Argument “otherwise Spain could not have signed with the UK the EU treaty because of the Gibraltar dispute,” would not even apply. And the listing of overseas terriotries in a treaty signed by members states is acknowledgement of those overseas terriotries belonging to the EU Member State that has sovereignty of them.

    The EU Ambassodor is clearly wrong, though i agree their is no course for altering the lisbon treaty, just because argentina demands it. After all will argentina remove their sovereignty claim over the falklands from their constitution? I doubt it.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 07:38 am 0
  • Dr Carrizal

    Argentina could always take the EU to the ICJ...
    The list of those not interested in their, er, claim, is growing!
    And, may I ask, what does the Lisbon Treaty have to do with the price of fish?

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 07:51 am 0
  • GeoffWard2

    This is a highly charged set of messages being passed to Argentina and her Mercosur partners, couched in the political-speak of 'diplomacy'.

    Try reading it again, and use plain speaking expressions in the place of political-speak.
    There are threats, underminings, aggressions, all the tools of the game of coercion.
    Be very sure, what is being said is that the EU and its member nations have 'had it up to here' with the Argentinian attitudes and behaviours, and they are letting the Mercosur partners know this, in no uncertain - but diplomatic - terms.

    Jan 31st, 2012 - 10:32 am 0
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