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Montevideo, July 18th 2024 - 16:26 UTC



Bolivia's Senate passes Mercosur accession bill

Thursday, July 4th 2024 - 21:59 UTC
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President Luis Arce Catacora must now sign the country's accession to the Southern Common Market into law President Luis Arce Catacora must now sign the country's accession to the Southern Common Market into law

Bolivia's Senate passed late Wednesday the landlocked country's full Southern Common Market (Mercosur) membership which is thus up for President Luis Arce Catacora to be signed into law. The Lower House approved the initiative on June 14, which would give the head of state to participate in the July 8 Summit in Asunción from a new perspective.

Arce will be joining Santiago Peña of Paraguay, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, and Luis Lacalle Pou of Uruguay. Argentina's Javier Milei will not be attending the gathering to avoid meeting Lula, whom he called “a corrupt Communist” during his campaign and refused to recant ever since, and perhaps now with Arce as well, whom he accused of staging the June 26 military uprising in La Paz to boost his dwindling image.

”The Senate of the Bolivian Senate approves Bill Number 225/2023-2024 C.D., which ratifies the Protocol of Accession of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). This decision marks a significant step in regional integration, allowing Bolivia to become a full member of Mercosur,” the Bolivian Senate posted on Facebook.

Wednesday's Upper House session was also attended by Ambassadors Luís Henrique Sobreira (Brazil) and Terumi Matsuo (Paraguay). Sobreira recalled that all member countries unanimously approved Bolivia's entry. He emphasized that Bolivia “participates in all the integration movements we have, now also in Mercosur. It has been a sovereign decision.”

Marking the occasion, Brazil's Foreign Ministry issued a statement highlighting that Bolivia's full membership would “open new opportunities to increase trade and investment” as well as “deepen cooperation on social issues.”

The Parliaments of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay have already endorsed Bolivia's entry. The new member will now have four years to adapt its legislation to Mercosur's guidelines as per the bloc's founding Treaty of Asunción and other rules on institutional structure and dispute resolution among participating countries.

Specifically, Bolivia will have to uphold Mercosur's human rights standards and adopt all necessary steps to reduce asymmetries with the other member countries.

Bolivia's accession protocol was signed in 2015 but was pending ratification in the various national parliaments of the four member countries, although it was not until late 2023 that Brazil gave the final nod.

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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