Ahead of July's EU summit with Latin American and Caribbean leaders in July, the first since 2015, the European Commission has unveiled a trade-oriented strategy to renew ties with a region that has been somewhat sidelined by the bloc in a chaotic few years in global politics. Approving the trade agreement with Mercosur is one of EU's priorities but there is French conditioning.
Brazil's Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes said he expects more movement from the European Union as long running talks on a free trade deal with his South American bloc Mercosur head into the home stretch.
European farm lobbies Copa and Cogeca sent a letter to EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker opposing the EU move to give further concessions on agriculture in return for gains in other economic sectors to Mercosur.
Cheaper imports from Mercosur and the recovering dairy market will push down EU beef production and prices, states in a long-awaited impact study released by the European Union. Dairy and pigmeat exports will see steady gains, says the report, which looked at the cost of 12 pending trade deals on EU agri-food markets.
European Union agriculture ministers have announced a €500m aid package after thousands of farmers protested on the streets of Brussels. The mainly Belgian, French and German farmers were protesting against plummeting prices for their produce.
The Spanish government's enthusiasm for an European Union free-trade agreement with Mercosur remains solid and Madrid seems willing to put some sectors of agriculture at risk in exchange for access to new markets for the country's multinationals.
European Union and Mercosur delegates are scheduled to meet next week in Brussels for another round of negotiations with the purpose of reaching a trade agreement.
Pressed hard by outraged farmers, the European Union farm chief on Wednesday increased his offer of compensation for the E. coli outbreak to Euro210 million.
European Union farm ministers will try on Tuesday to agree financial aid for fruit and vegetable producers whose sales have been hit by an E.coli outbreak that has so far claimed at least 22 lives in Europe and triggered a scare in fresh produce consumption.