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Thursday, 17 January 2013 - Strasbourg
State of play of EU-Mercosur trade relations

European Parliament resolution of 17 January 2013 on trade negotiations between the EU and Mercosur (2012/2924(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the IV EU-Mercosur Summit Joint Communiqué of 17 May 2010,

–  having regard to the VI EU-Latin America and Caribbean Summit, held on 18 May 2010,

–  having regard to the relaunch of EU-Mercosur negotiations with the objective of arriving at an ambitious and balanced Association Agreement between the two parties,

–  having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2010 on the EU strategy for relations with Latin America(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 21 October 2010 on the European Union’s trade relations with Latin America(2),

–  having regard to the EuroLat resolution of 19 May 2011 on the prospects for trade relations between the European Union and Latin America,

–  having regard to the last round of negotiations, which took place in Brasilia from 22 to 26 October 2012,

–  having regard to its other previous resolutions on EU-Mercosur relations,

–  having regard to Rules 115(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas EU-Mercosur negotiations were relaunched in 2010 to reach a comprehensive, ambitious, balanced and mutually advantageous agreement;

B.  whereas EU-Mercosur trade represents nearly as much as EU trade with the rest of Latin America taken together; whereas the EU is Mercosur’s largest trading partner and the largest investor in Mercosur; whereas Mercosur ranks eighth among our trading partners; whereas the EU and Mercosur represent complementary economies (the EU is Mercosur’s first market for its agricultural exports, while EU exports to Mercosur focus largely on industrial products and services);

C.  whereas this Interregional Agreement involves 800 million citizens;

D.  whereas nine negotiating rounds have taken place since the official announcement of the relaunch of the negotiations;

E.  whereas the two regions share values and principles, such as a commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to democracy, as well as common languages;

F.  whereas the EU has just approved the Association Agreement with Central America and the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia and Peru in addition to those previously signed with Chile and Mexico;

1.  Stresses the economic and political importance of the EU-Mercosur negotiations, launched in 2010 with the objective of arriving at a balanced, fair, ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement in all sectors covered by the agreement;

2.  Stresses that trade is one of the essential means available to policy-makers of boosting economic growth and creating jobs;

3.  Calls for closer cooperation between the EU and Mercosur, and believes that deeper integration of the European and Mercosur economies will be beneficial to both sides;

4.  Notes the progress made in the past two years on the normative part of the trade pillar of the agreement;

5.  Regrets the slow pace of the negotiations and the lack of any substantial progress to date;

6.  Believes that, for such negotiations to be successful, both sides must approach the talks in a spirit of openness and mutual trust and, this being so, deplores the protectionist measures on trade and investment taken by some Mercosur countries in recent months; highlights the need to create a stable framework for better investment protection;

7.  Reiterates the importance of including respect for democratic principles, fundamental and human rights and the rule of law as well as environmental and social standards in all trade agreements concluded between the EU and third countries, in order to achieve greater coherence in external actions, both reflecting the EU’s economic interests and promoting its fundamental values;

8.  Takes the view that the next EU-Mercosur Ministerial Meeting to be held at the end of January 2013 in parallel with the CELAC-EU Summit in Santiago, Chile, should be seen as a major opportunity to make clear and significant political commitments and to progress further in the negotiations;

9.  Urges both parties, in this context, to bring sufficient political motivation and significant political backing to the table, so as to proceed with the exchange of sufficiently ambitious market access offers on goods, services, investments and the other chapters of the trade pillar of the agreement;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the governments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the Mercosur countries, and the Parliament of Mercosur (Parlasur).

(1) OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p. 54.
(2) OJ C 70 E, 8.3.2012, p. 79.

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