French president, Emmanuel Macron, declared his opposition to the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur. In addition, 265 civil society organizations were also mobilized against the agreement. The decision follows the defeat of Macron in the municipal elections and the strong advance of the Greens.
According to a report published by Brazil's Valor Econômico newspaper, the attacks in Europe are also growing due to positions taken by President Jair Bolsonaro on environmental issues.
The President of France has already positioned himself in favor of classifying the crime of “ecocide” in international law, to judge, for example, those who do not protect ecosystems.
This time, the mobilization in Europe has grown because Germany, which assumes the rotating presidency of the EU on Wednesday, has as one of its priorities precisely to try to advance in the ratification of the bi-regional agreement.
Before 150 members of the Citizen’s Climate Convention, Macron promised that there would be no trade agreement with countries that did not respect the Paris Agreement.
“I share your proposition, which is why regarding Mercosur, I have canceled the negotiations, and the latest reports submitted to us comfort me in this decision,” he said.
The EU-Mercosur agreement, however, is not paralyzed as Macron says, as the news site Mediapart recalled. Negotiators in the two blocs continue to review the legal part of last year’s commitments.
At the same time, a committee of 265 organizations sent a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and all 27 EU member states to reject the agreement with Mercosur.
Among the entities are Attac, Confederação Agrícola, League of Human Rights, and Foodwatch. The group is trying to take advantage of the loophole opened by the parliaments of Austria, the Walloon region in Belgium, and also the Netherlands, which withdrew their support for the bi-regional agreement.
The entities claim that the EU-Mercosur agreement implies worsening environmental destruction and the climate crisis, by expanding car exports and encouraging the practice of monocultures (growing a single crop) in the Amazon.
Last week, a group of five NGOs submitted a formal request to the EU ombudsman for the rejection of the bi-regional agreement. If the ombudsman agrees to open an inquiry, it will be an important political victory for movements contrary to the agreement. After that, the European Commission would have three months to respond.