MEPs with an interest in strengthening diplomatic relations with Brazil will visit Belo Horizonte (MG) and Brasília in the first week of November. The agenda was announced on Thursday (17/09) in Brussels, at the meeting of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil.
“We want to create a delegation in Congress, not just a Friendship Group (Grupode Amizade) that has little representation in the EU. We need a corresponding counterpart in Brazil at the same level. The idea is to formalize a delegation to take charge officially of the issues related to the EU” said the chairman of the delegation, MEP Paulo Rangel.
Rangel also said that it will be important to bring National Congress members to Brussels next year to establish a closer relationship and that the delegation itself will be responsible for receiving them and put them in contact with European authorities.
The bilateral Summit European Union (EU)-Brazil should take place early next year. The date will be made official during the meeting of the G20 Summit in November, in Turkey, when the presidents of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Council, Donald Tusk, will meet with President Dilma Rousseff.
The announcement was made by Adrianus Koetsenruijter, Head of Unit for Mercosur Countries – European External Action Service (EEAS), special guest of the EP Delegation for Relations with Brazil.
Koetsenruijter also talked about how the EU sees the economic crisis in Brazil. He said “many people believe that things are not going well in the country, but the EU does not see it that way. What we see today in Brazil is a healthy democracy. “The crisis is an opportunity to take new steps, new directions and make progress,” he added.
Koetsenruijter updated the Brazil agenda for the second half, citing the visit of the EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete and of the Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip. He emphasised that the submarine fiber optic cable that will link Brazil to the European continent has been a priority in recent months.
MEP Carlos Zorrinho, vice president of Delegation – and also a member of EUBrasil – stressed that the agreement between the EU and Brazil both in the digital area and in science and technology are important for the realization of the submarine cable. “In particular it is important that universities and technology centers in Europe and Brazil have a direct connection. Nowadays, we also know that in terms of security and data protection that connection is very important”, said Zorrinho.
The consortium for the implementation of the submarine cable was created and is already working on the project; It is expected that the cable will be operational in two years time.
The next meeting of the EP delegation for relations with Brazil will be on 15 October. On the agenda will be the MEPs mission to Brazil, issues related to the EU-Mercosur Agreement as well as the submarine cable, said the MEP Paulo Rangel to EUBrasil.
Brazil-EU investment in numbers
Brazil has invested 21 billion euros in the EU in 2013, being the second largest investor in the European bloc. EU has invested 35.6 billion euros in Brazil. Brazil’s stocks in the EU were 52.8 billion euros in 2013. And the stocks held by the EU in Brazil amounted to 272 billion euros in the same period.
“The figures show the density of this relationship”, said Ambassador Vera Machado, Head of the Brazilian Mission to the EU.
EP and Mercosur relations
“You need to know the level of ambition of the offers so that you can come up with a date for the exchanging of the free trade agreement between South American and European blocs,” said MEP Francisco Assis, Chairman of the EP Delegation for Relations with Mercosur.
The delegation also had a meeting on Thursday (17/09) in the afternoon at the EP in Brussels.
During the meeting of the EP Delegation for Relations with Mercosur, Chairman Francisco Assis said the Mercosur Summit held on 17/07 and the subsequent meeting in August put the block in the consolidation process. “We must think to come up with a proposal for the meeting to be held in October in Asuncion”, added the MEP.
The Head of Unit, Latin America, DG Trade, European Commission, Matthias Jorgensen, said the next step is to address the market access offers, but it needs to be a satisfactory exchange to avoid repeating the same fruitless exchanges that took place in 2004.
“On the one hand, Mercosur asks precise deadlines for the agreement, on the other, the EU wants further assurances it did not receive from Mercosur until this moment”, said Jorgensen. An agreement is expected to reached at the ministerial level before the end of this year.