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EU confirms no block-to-individual Mercosur member trade negotiation has been requested

Monday, August 12th 2013 - 18:06 UTC
Full article 22 comments
Spokesperson Clancy: we are negotiating with Mercosur as a block (Pic: Euronews) Spokesperson Clancy: we are negotiating with Mercosur as a block (Pic: Euronews)

The 28-country European Union underscored the potential benefits of a free trade agreement with Mercosur and revealed that so far no country member of the group has requested to a bilateral negotiation.

“The EU is committed to conclude an ambitious, wide ranging and balanced agreement with Mercosur” said John Clancy, spokesperson for EU Trade Commissioner when asked about a possible splitting of negotiations as had been suggested by the Brazilian Foreign minister Antonio Patriota in an interview with the Financial Times.

According to the interview the Brazilian government is planning to present a proposal to advance in a bilateral agreement given the delay in negotiations between the EU and Mercosur.

“We are negotiating with Mercosur as a block. At the last ministerial EU/Mercosur meeting held in Santiago last 26 January, Mercosur members agreed to exchange market access proposals at the latest in the fourth quarter of this year”, said Clancy.

But so far there has been no proposal from any Mercosur member to change the agreed agenda or the nature of the current EU/Mercosur negotiations, added Clancy. “If Mercosur countries want to change this, such a proposal would have to be examined by EU”.

The EU spokesperson insisted that the 28-country group is very much interested in an agreement with Mercosur since “this would mean significant benefits for both sides”.

EU and Mercosur in Madrid last May 2010 resumed negotiations for an ambitious association agreement based on cooperation, political dialogue and free trade which took off in 1999 but was suspended in 2004 because of lack of advances.

Since then both sides have been involved in nine negotiation rounds, centred mainly in trade rules, but with no mention of the markets-access issue. However obstacles remain since Mercosur is demanding greater access for its agriculture produce and the EU for manufactured goods and services into the South American block.

The rupture of a block-to-block negotiation into one with individual countries already happened with the Andean Community that was discussing a trade agreement with the EU and finally was cut down to single agreements with Colombia and Peru. The accord was signed in 2012 and became effective this month.

Top Comments

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  • Porto Margaret

    Britain should make it as awkward as possible for the EU to reach a deal whilst the KFC regime is still there. String it out and help Brazil and other serious economic partners come to the conclusion that both Argentina and Venezuela are just not worth the trouble they manage to cause their 'brothers' in Mercosur.

    Aug 12th, 2013 - 07:08 pm 0
  • Anglotino

    Colombia and Peru in the Pacific Alliance showed the way and now parts of Mercosur want to follow suit.

    Shows the vitality of the Pacific Alliance system over the morbid way of the Mercosur.

    What use is Mercosur if individual members put up trade barriers with other members and sign individual trade deals with other trading blocks?

    Mercosur is becoming nothing but a talking shop.... another Latin American talking shops - and don't we already have dozens of those littering the continent.

    Aug 12th, 2013 - 07:08 pm 0
  • Conqueror

    Just block latam negotiations from the illegitimate mercosur and its members. No negotiations with argieland, brazil, uruguay, venezuela. But we can negotiate with Paraguay once it has abandoned mercosur. And, even it means resorting to military force, illegitimate mercosur will not be allowed to interfere. And let's kill off unasur while we're at it. It's just as bad!

    Aug 13th, 2013 - 06:58 am 0
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