President Dilma Rousseff’s participation in the VIIth Brazil/EU summit this last Monday in Brussels represented Brazil’s commitment to boost the trade negotiations between Mercosur and the EUropean Union. The president declared several times during her stay in the European capital that “never was this possibility so close, as much on their side, as on the EU’s”.
“It is still too early to even be able to glimpse an end date to the closing of the Agreement. Sensitive topics still have to be discussed, mainly in the area of agriculture. However, as president Rousseff affirmed, never has this pact’s completion been so close”, said Luigi Gambardella, president of EUBrasil, having followed the president’s statements closely.
EU and Mercosur set the 21st of March as the date for European and Latin-American experts to evaluate the offers in order to be able to finally agree on a formal exchange.
Before that, four of the Mercosur partners – namely Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – will meet on the 7th of March to try and settle on a common offer. If an agreement is not reached between them, it is possible that offers on very different wavelengths be presented.
“The results of the summit were very positive”, reaffirmed Gambardella, “notably in other areas”.
President Rousseff utilized the meeting with European leaders to make it clear that the Brazilian government found very curious EU’s contest of the New Automotive Policy and Manaus’ Free Trade Zone in the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In first instance, president Rousseff considers that the New Automotive Policy is an important technological development, chiefly with European companies settled in Brazil. In second, she said that the government not only endorses the region but also “has a commitment to augment the Free Trade Zone”
President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, explained that the EU “understands the needs of the policies linked with the New Automotive Policy and the Free Trade Zone, but that it has doubts as to the technical instruments in the application of these policies”. Due to this, the EU will let its experts further study the problem, according to Barroso.
The main thing to take away on this question of industrial politics it remains to be seen if Europeans will put away their intention to open a panel against Brazil in the WTO and focus on EU/Mercosur negotiations. “Let us wait and see if president Rousseff’s message to the Europeans was sufficiently clear”, reiterated Gambardella.
Brazil answers for 70% of the Mercosur’s GDP and Europe is its main commercial partner. More than 20% of Brazilian Exports have the EU as their destination and 21% of imports have the EU as their origin.
The EUBrasil Association is the biggest networking platform for European and Brazilian companies, business people, Members of the European Parliament, Members of Brazilian Congress, and both Brazilian and European scientists and academics. Based in Brussels, EUBrasil has as its primary objective, to promote a strong and harmonious dialogue between the main economic and political actors of Brazil and the European Union.