Agreement between EU and Mercosur trade bloc on hold

Agreement between EU and Mercosur trade bloc on hold

According to Green deputy Stéphanie Empain, Brazil is trampling over a number of criteria vital to free trade agreements of this kind.

Even if conditions were met in theory, the question remains as to how to put the whole thing into practice. The way things stand, there are no dispute settlement procedures in place for countries that don't keep to the regulations, reckons Stéphanie Empain.

Thus the agreement between the EU and the South American  trade bloc - encompassing Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina - has been shelved for the immediate future. Luxembourgish Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn stated during the Chamber commission on Monday morning that if the Brazilian President maintained his current political path as concerns the Amazon rain forest, then he could not envisage the foreseen trade agreement becoming a reality.

According to the Christian Social People's Party, while there where positive elements to the agreements, there were still a number of issues such as agriculture, climate action or sustainable development. It also remained to be seen how the case evolved, said Claude Wiseler, and it was important to make progress with the countries in question.

David Wagner of The Left is of a different opinion however, challenging the concept of global trade agreements in general. According to Wagner the Mercosur-EU deal was not only a bad one, but an "anti-social" one, with or without Amazon fires, since it was not only a climate killer, but went against smaller farmers too. For these reasons he could not understand how the CSV or the Greens considered it to be "not a bad deal". Indeed, in his opinion, they had fundamentally misunderstood everything.

Jean Asselborn did not leave the criticism unchallenged. The commission had received the mandate to negotiate a trade 20 years ago, and to do so in a way that would encourage international trade, in the interest of both European and Mercosur- people. This was why the deal could not just be abandoned. Their political message declared that the current ways were not working, and that it did not only have to be reconsidered, but re-negotiated, emphasised the Foreign Affairs minister.