The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sanchez; and the head of state of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, agreed this Friday give one last “political push” so that the European Union (EU) and Mercosur they may close soon the agreement they negotiated 20 years ago. This was during a meeting in the Emirati city of Dubai, on the sidelines of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) on climate change sponsored by the UNin which both participate.
““A pleasure to meet again with my friend Lula to give political impetus to the EU-MERCOSUR agreement.”, wrote Sánchez on the social network X, after the meeting with the president of Brazil, who holds the pro tempore presidency of Mercosur. “Achieving this historic step, good for both regions, will allow reinforce strategic projects in renewable energies, green hydrogen, fight against deforestation or digital transition”added the president of the Spanish government in his publication and concluded: “We will continue to join forces, ideas and projects to build, from multilateralism, a fairer, cleaner and healthier world.”
Both Spain, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until December 31, and Brazil, which heads Mercosur until December 6, had set themselves as a priority that the agreement that has been negotiated for two decades could finally see the light during their respective mandates. Brussels, which negotiates on behalf of the Twenty-Seven, recognized this week that the talks at a technical level are very advanced and ready for the “political push” that will allow us to cross the finish line before the end of 2023. The Spanish Government understands that if the agreement is not closed now, it will be difficult for it to be finalized in the future with other less favorable presidencies of both blocs.
In June 2019the EU and the Mercosur countries – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – agreed on a free trade agreement after 20 years of negotiations, but it has not yet been ratified by the Parliaments of the nations of both blocs. The arrival of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the presidency of Brazil last January raised hopes of closing the pactwhich had been blocked, among other things, by EU criticism of Brazil’s environmental policy under Lula’s predecessor, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro.
Luis Lacalle Pou referred to the agreement between the EU and Mercosur
In this context, the president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, said this Friday that he is hopeful of finalizing the Mercosur-European Union (EU) trade association agreement before the end of the year. an issue that will focus on the summit of the South American bloc next week in Brazil. “Why do I think there may be a chance, although I still have a certain skepticism? Because the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, ends his presidency of the EU now at the end of the year and has a mutual commitment to move forward with the Brazilian president” Lula Da Silva, Lacalle Pou declared to journalists.
“Then we hope to have good news,” said the Uruguayan president.. “What does not seem logical is that we have been negotiating an agreement for 25 years. (…) If we are going to do it, let’s do it. Because if not it generates frustration,” added the Uruguayan president.
Mercosur and the EU closed a trade agreement in 2019, after more than 20 years of complex negotiations, but it has not yet been ratified mainly due to concern in Europe about the Brazil’s environmental policy under President Jair Bolsonaro.