The deputy Eduardo Barbosa, chair of the “Grupo Parlamentar Brasil-União Europeia” (Parliamentary Group Brazil-EU), assessed as positive the visit of the group of six MEPs to Congress in early November. Barbosa said that a visit to the European Parliament (EP) was agreed with the European delegation) for next March, still to be confirmed. The deputy also spoke to EUBrasil about the EU-Mercosur agreement, signaling that now is the time to give “a credit to the Dilma government”, and reiterated that the Parliamentary Group is a consolidated group and recognized by Congress.
The EU Delegation that visited Brazil earlier in November, traveled with two main objectives: to analyze the prospects of the future EU-Mercosur agreement and invite the members of the Brazilian Congress to create a delegation for relations with the EU that is homologous of the delegation for relations with the Federal Republic of Brazil (D-BR ).
The delegation was composed by Deputy Paulo Rangel, chair of the Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil (D-BR); António Marinho e Pinto, 1st vice-chair of D-BR; Carlos Zorrinho, 2nd vice-chair of D-BR and member of EUBrasil; Ashley Fox, member of European Conservatives and Reformists Group – ECR; Inês Cristina Zuber, member of Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left – GUE/NGL and Pablo Zalba Bidegain, member of Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) – PPE.
“The first official visit of D-BR to Brazil (Belo Horizonte and Brasília) was a political and diplomatic success and opened doors for strengthening economic cooperation between the two regions. It was important to deepen the debate on the mutual benefits of signing a trade agreement between Mercosur and the EU”, said MEP Carlos Zorrinho, also a member of EUBrasil. “Among many other positive aspects of the visit, I would mention strengthening the common vision of the Climate Summit and the challenges of sustainability of the planet, cooperation in promoting human rights and democratic values in the world”, he added.
The exchange of offers between the EU and Mercosur has a date scheduled for before the end of the year and time is running out. “We have to give credit to this partnership now, because Dilma was in Brussels and pledged to create more favorable conditions for this relationship and the signs must be respected; we see ministers announcing that soon the agreement will be concluded. But if we find that by the middle of next year this doesn´t happen, we will have to address a different logic”, said Eduardo Barbosa. He also believes that Brazil has the capacity to sign a bilateral agreement with the EU.
The deputy Eduardo Barbosa organized the meetings of the MEPs in Brazil. On the agenda, there were meetings with President of the Parliamentary Group in the Senate, Senator Aloysio Nunes (vice president of PSDB), with Senator Roberto Requiao (PMDB) – Chair of the Brazilian Representation in the Mercosul Parliament (Parlasul) and Co-President of the Euro Latin-American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat); and Jô Moraes (PCdoB), Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defence of the Chamber of Deputies. The meeting that had the longest duration was with Senator Aécio Neves (PSDB president).
Regarding the invitation made by the delegation to the Parliamentary Group to visit the EP in Brussels, Barbosa hopes it comes true: “I believe that from this, we can make a joint agenda”. The idea is to harmonize topics of interest of both sides. According to Barbosa, it will be an agenda based on what is in discussion in Congress as exchange of experiences and information such as migration law.
MEPs believe that the Parliamentary Group Brazil-EU is able to establish as they do, a delegation for relations with the EU that is homologous to D-BR. “The Parliamentary Group Brazil-EU is already the formal structure that the Brazilian Congress has to establish these relations of exchange with the EP. It has a statute, a board of directors, members and it is recognized by the Congress”, said Barbosa.
Understand the differences and similarities between the Parliamentary Group Brazil and the European Union Delegation for relations with the Federal Republic of Brazil:
|Structure||Recognized by the National Congress, has a formal structure with president, board, observers of extra-parliamentary organizations and members of the Chamber and Senate.||Created by the European Parliament, each delegation elects its own Board, consisting of a chairperson and a maximum of four vice-presidents.|
|Chair||Deputy Eduardo Barbosa (PSDB), member of EUBrasil||Deputy Paulo Rangel (PPE, Portugal)|
|1 ° Vice-Chair||Vacante||Deputy António Marinho e Pinto (ALDE, Portugal)|
|2 ° Vice-Chair||Deputy Antônio Carlos Mendes Thame (PSDB)||Deputy Carlos Zorrinho (S&D, Portugal), member of EUBrasil|
|Goals||Deepen political, economic and cultural relations between the two blocs||Follow the Strategic Partnership established EU-Brazil during the First EU-Brazil Summit held in April 2007|
|Members||151 members (110 deputies e 41 senators)||14 active members e 14 Substitutes|
|Political Parties / Groups||16 political parties (details below *)||8 political groups (details below **)|
|Accessions||Individual and spontaneous||The deputy must demonstrate interest in joining the particular delegation he chooses, but must be officially nominated by the political group to which it belongs to represent it.|
|Duties||Have no obligation to hold meetings, visits, etc.||Each year members should visit and receive visits from their counterparts of the Brazilian Congress.|
|Budget||It has no parliamentary funds. They require approval of the Senate and House.||Symbolic sum for small events and managed by the Chairman.|
Delegation members of D-BR are also members for relations with the countries of the Delegation for relations with Mercosur (DMER) and Eurolat Parliamentary Assembly (DLAT).
* D-BR: 28 members of eight political groups (made up of parliamentarians that comes together according to their political affinities): Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats); Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe; Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group; Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance; European Conservatives and Reformists Group; Confederal Group of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left and Europe of Nations and Freedom Group. It is not required a fixed number of members or parties, however, there must be proportionality ie shouldn´t have greater representation of a particular party, should be equal.
** Parliamentary Group: 151 members of 16 political parties (organized groups, legally formed, based on voluntary forms of participation in an association oriented to influence or take political power): PSB; PSOL; PSDB; PMDB; PDT; DEM; PP; PSC; PTB; PSD; PC do B; PT; PRB; PR; PPS e PV. It is not required a fixed number of members or parties.
EUBrazil is part of the Advisory Board of the Parliamentary Group and seeks to suggest and support new initiatives that promote increased partnership between Brazil and the EU.