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Commission Statement of 14 December 2020 on EU-Mercosur and Sustainable Development

EU-Mercosur statement on Sustainable Development at EU27-LAC Informal Ministerial Meeting

On the occasion of the EU27-LAC Informal Ministerial Meeting in Berlin on 14 December, the Executive Vice-President (EVP) of the Commission and Commissioner for Trade, Mr Dombrovskis, the High Representative/Vice President (HRVP) of the Commission, Mr Borrell, and the Ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, discussed a way forward for the ratification and entry into force of the EU-Mercosur Agreement.

They expressed their conviction that the Agreement should be implemented in such a way so as to provide benefits to both sides in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They reiterated their commitment to effectively implement the international commitments set out in the Agreement, including the Paris Agreement.

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EEAS Statement of 28 April 2020 - Argentina commits to negotiations on EU-Mercosur AA

Argentina: Statement by the Spokesperson on the commitment to continue negotiations on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement

Argentina has announced its decision to suspend participation in the negotiations of current trade agreements and of future negotiations of the Mercosur bloc, but explicitly stated it would continue with the European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) agreements.

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Joint Declaration of 20 March 2018 on the assassination of Marielle Franco

Joint Declaration by the Chair of the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, by the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil, by the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Mercosur and the Chair of the EuroLat Women Forum of the European Parliament on the assassination of Marielle Franco, local council woman in Rio de Janeiro, the night of Wednesday, 14 March 2018.

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EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement: European Commission Position Paper

The EU is negotiating a trade agreement with the four founding members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) as part of the overall negotiation for a bi-regional Association Agreement. Venezuela - which joined the bloc in 2012 but is currently suspended - is not a party to the trade negotiations.

The European Commission commissioned a Sustainability Impact Assessment [SIA] paper to evaluate the potential benefits and pitfalls of an agreement. In July 2010, a "position paper" was published that provides the reaction of Commission Services to the Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA).

In its conclusion, the paper notes:
"an EU-Mercosur agreement would bring significant benefits for both the EU and Mercosur. However, the study also highlights a number of concerns, for instance in relation to the agreement's potentially significant adverse impacts on the environment. [...] Only a balanced and ambitious agreement which takes duly into account economic, social and environmental impacts and provides a basis for appropriate preventive, mitigation and enhancement measures, has the potential to bring maximum benefits to both partners and be conducive to sustainable development."

EC-Mercosur Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement

After concluding bilateral agreements with Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, the European Community decided to conclude an Interregional Framework Agreement with Mercosur. On 12 June 1995 the Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations with Mercosur. The Agreement with Mercosur does not alter undertakings made in the bilateral agreements already in force.

The "Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Southern Common Market and its Party States, of the other part - Joint Declaration on political dialogue between the European Union and Mercosur" was signed in Madrid on 15 December 1995 and entered into force on 1 July 1999.

The Agreement is designed to strengthen relations between the two parties on the basis of reciprocity and community of interests, with the prospect of establishing an interregional free trade association of an economic and political nature in the future. Respect for democratic principles and human rights constitute its essential element.

The sectors of cooperation include: trade, standards, customs, statistics and intellectual property; economic cooperation, with the emphasis on industrial, energy, scientific and technological cooperation, telecommunications, the environment and investment promotion. It provides the framework for strengthening integration and interinstitutional cooperation to embrace cultural activities, information and the fight against drug trafficking. The Agreement includes a future developments clause under Article 23.

Bilateral framework agreements for cooperation with the Mercosur countries

The countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) - Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil - are beneficiaries of framework cooperation agreements with the European Union (EU) that entered into force in the first half of the 1990s. These agreements focus on trade and economic cooperation and other areas of common interest.
The agreements were signed and entered into force on different dates:
  • The Argentine Republic was the first of the four countries to formalise its relations with the European Union with a trade and economic cooperation agreement that was signed in Luxembourg on 2 April 1990 and entered into force on 1 August 1991.
  • The second agreement to enter into force was the agreement with the Republic of Paraguay, on 1992. The agreement had been signed in Brussels on 3 February 1992.
  • The agreement with Uruguay was signed in Brussels on 4 November 1991 and entered into force on 1 January 1994.
  • The framework agreement with Brazil was signed in Brasilia on 29 June 1992 and entered into force on 1 November 1995.