Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The EU-Mercosur agreement: rejected by twelve EU countries, is part of the priorities of the Spanish agenda in the current Presidency.

Idafe Martín PérezBrussels 03/23/2023 01:59h.

Farmers’ Demonstration in Brussels (Archive Image) Getty

  • The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU has among its priorities to confirm the ratification of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.

  • The convention, closed for nearly four years, was rejected by twelve European countries

  • The European Commissioner for Trade in 2019, Sweden Cecilia Mälmstrom, laughed at the girl with the new shoes. Its businessmen have contracted the services and governments of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. The European Union and Mercosur have had an ambitious Free Trade Association and Agreement more than 15 years after they started negotiating it. The bottles were uncooked in the Berlaymont area, the headquarters of the European Commission, and the press was summoned at odd hours. However, that agreement was never signed and the European Parliament has already passed a resolution, in which it warned that in its state it did not have a plan to approve.

    Almost four years later, nothing has been done.

    The first reactions of the European governments were lukewarm. The European Commission had gone further than the mandate given by the governments? Mälmstrom, months after leaving office, crossed the red lines? The executive community denied and it was extracted from the reading of the agreement that the commissioner could go all the way to the exit, but many administrations agreed to the deal knowing that such an agreement would not be approved.

    In these four years there have been excuses of all colors. Besides the fact that no one wanted to appear in a photo signing with Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, France stated that it would not ratify the Paris Climate Agreement unless the governments of Mercosur (referring to Brazil) ratified it. Other excuses followed, all valid and all relevant in some way.

    This last Monday. The ministers of agriculture of at least 10 European countries, including France, supported the text on the part of Austria, which rejects the ratification of the agreement because the Mercosur countries, it claims, have more relaxed standards of restrictions in their agricultural countries. The European Commission says that the text of the agreement includes many measures of environmental protection, but these do not appear as mandates, but as recommendations and promises, which are impossible to suppress if the government in power decides not to comply.

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    The brutality is such that some of the ministers who voted for this text have been assisted by a dozen or so ministers of rural affairs, as the Belgians defend their countries from exporting to third countries (including Mercosur) the pesticides they have. it was banned in Europe for years. When they use those countries, their environmental standards are said to be lower.

    Excuses, in addition to the fact that in some cases they can hide real concerns, they try to hide the great fear of countries like France, Belgium, Poland, Ireland, Austria or the Netherlands, among others. Those countries of the European Union do not want to open their markets to imports of agricultural products from Mercosur countries in the volumes that were agreed when the agreement was agreed in 2019.

    There was never much trade

    The European Union has never signed a trade agreement, which agrees to yield with countries not much more than European traders because they have a much greater possibility of market access in exchange than their own. Almost 450 million inhabitants of the European Union do them for any commercial supplement. Canada, for example, after signing the CETA, it was recognized that European exports to Canada increase more exports to Europe than to Canadians, but the agreement also has to be paid. Another reason is Mercosur. The governments of the South American countries understand that, when dealing with that agreement, they have already given more than the European Union and have not moved the anointing. If it must be moved, on the contrary. Argentina, which agreed with Mälmström in 2019, was the free trader of president Mauricio Macri. Peronism, now in power, is more protective. To tweak the agreement would be to limit its scope.

    The best thing the Spanish presidency could do is devote its time and efforts to other priorities. The European agreement with Mercosur, after two decades of going in and out of the drawer on the board of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade, has not yet matured.

    Meetings between the two blocks continue (the next before March 8) as Japanese soldiers who resisted in the jungles of the Pacific years after the end of World War II.

    World Nation News Desk
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