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Parliamentary questions
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28 April 2021
E-000828/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000828/2021

The Commission and Mercosur are currently finalising the legal revision of the agreement. Once this is completed, the Commission will present the proposals to the European Parliament and the Council.

In parallel, the Commission is engaging with Mercosur to seek meaningful progress on commitments on the Paris Agreement and deforestation, following Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People declaration at the European Parliament on 2 October 2020(1).

The decision regarding the legal basis of the agreement has not yet been taken. According to the Treaties and as clarified in multiple rulings of the Court of Justice of the EU, the common commercial policy falls under the EU's exclusive competence. Moreover, contrary to what the Honourable Member seems to suggest, the European Parliament must give its consent before trade agreements are ratified, irrespective of their legal basis.

The roles of the Council and the European Parliament are to ensure legitimacy and inclusiveness of the adoption process. It is the view of the Commission that Member States should appropriately involve their parliaments and interested stakeholders in the process of preparation and ratification of negotiated trade agreements, in line with their respective national procedures.

In relation to the joint statement by the European and Southern Cone trade union confederations(2), the Commission would have encouraged a more balanced view also taking into account the positive aspects of the Agreement. The Commission believes that with the agreement, the EU will be able to engage Mercosur countries on a broad range of issues covering not only trade but also climate change, environment, human and labour rights.

(1)https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20201001IPR88310/hearing-of-executive-vice-president-valdis-dombrovskis-on-trade-portfolio
(2)https://www.etuc.org/en/publication/cono-surccscs-etuc-joint-statement-bi-regional-association-agreement-between-european
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