‘Assessing the political dialogue and cooperation pillar of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement: towards a bi-regional strategic partnership?’

Análisis en profundidad 26-01-2022

On 28 June 2019, the European Union and Mercosur reached a political agreement to establish an interregional trade agreement as ‘part of a wider Association Agreement between the two regions’. The European Commission and Mercosur member states went on to publish a summary of the negotiating results, while both sides started the process of legal revision. Meanwhile, the European External Action Service and Mercosur representatives were negotiating the political dialogue and cooperation part of the Association Agreement, which was completed one year later, on 18 June 2020, and has not been published. The present report is about the latter document, to which the author has been granted confidential access: it scrutinises its content, compares it to previous and similar agreements, analyses its prospects of ratification and impact – with a special focus on Brazil – and assesses its potential to cement a meaningful EU-Mercosur strategic partnership. The study is enriched by direct, off-the-record interviews as well as public documents and analyses. Its originality resides in the consideration of informal practices, besides and beyond formal frameworks, to estimate the odds of ratification and implementation of the agreement.