Ratification still seems far away, but the European bloc Begins to be more open to the idea of progressing into the final concrete of an agreement Free trade between the European Union and Mercosur. Several obstacles arose on June 28, 2019 when the parties sealed the commitment.
Brazil’s environmental policy has always been the main stumbling block. But now, as the Slovenian ambassador to Argentina confirmed to TN, Alain Bergant |Europe welcomed the commitments made by Bolsonaro at COP26.
Read also: In the face of a divided Mercosur, Europe is a document to open the FTA: which countries oppose it
In this sense, the European Union polishes the details of a file The “opposite project” focused on environmental issues To “expand” the agreement reached, the ambassador who will present to the members of the Mercosur bloc acknowledged the idea of making a gesture towards the EU countries. Last week, European finance ministers analyzed the current status of the treaty and hope for a concrete gesture on December 2, at a virtual summit involving the EU and Mercosur.
Slovenia maintains a central role in these months as it takes the presidency of strategy European CouncilThe body that sets the political course of the European Union.
What are the main objectives of Slovenia as President of the European Council?
We have 4 priorities. First, pandemic resilience, economic recovery, green and military transformation. Second, to think about the future of Europe, where all Europeans will be part of figuring out what we want from Europe. Third, promoting equality for all. while at last We want a reliable and secure European Union With good relations across the Atlantic. We seek to include countries that are not yet members, and we have already started negotiations with Albania and Macedonia.
– Then the most important is the expansion of the block.
– It is one of the priorities and one of our needs. We still have tensions, but when we do it will be a space of peace. We have countries that want to be part of the European Union.
What deadlines do you envision?
We have a meeting with 26 other bloc leaders and we want to develop a roadmap. We don’t know if we’ll all expand together or through two countries. I think that’s a question for the European Commission, because we don’t have an enlargement commissioner.
– In this context, how is the FTA with Mercosur progressing?
– We always talk about trade, but there is also a partnership agreement that has political and cooperative relations. as chair Our political goal is to deepen certain strengthening relations business relations. Specifically, we are seeking to enter into the agreement. But we also have national interests and red lines where we highlight the geopolitical importance of the compact and awareness in the field of sustainable development.
It is important to stress, then, that there is a political decision on the part of Europe to move forward with the agreement.
Certainly, every presidency wants to have an event to highlight it. We are active in this process. We have more than 40 channels of dialogue with Mercosur groups. On December 2, a virtual summit will be held with the participation of Bolsonaro and Alberto Vinandez, where we hope to deliver a positive message. I think we’re running a marathon and we’re almost done.
– If Brazil complies with the commitments it made at the Conference of the Parties, can ratification be accelerated?
– I think so. What happened in Brazil had a positive balance, as it announced commitments on methane, forests, land use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil wants to close this agreement. It will be very positive for everyone.
– Do you think that Brazil will comply with the obligations?
– We have to ask Brazil, but I think so because this is important to us. We may need to go back a step or two to move forward together.
– The Portuguese ambassador recently admitted that the European Union is preparing a counter-project to the attempt to lift the ban on ratification. What can you tell us about?
– The European Commission aims to search for durable solutions in environmental issues, but without modifying what has already been negotiated. Therefore, it is expected that the agreement will be ratified and that a solution will be reached with additional obligations, In order not to deforestation. Work is underway on independent measures and bilateral components. We expect tangible progress by the end of the year.
– So it’s a deforestation project.
– On environmental issues, because we also have other open negotiations. I hope we can sign the ratification after 23 years of negotiations altogether.
– Josep Borrell (EU High Representative) recently met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Franca, did you talk about this?
– It was a very positive meeting, there are positive signs. France will travel to Brussels and Bolsonaro will participate with Latin American leaders at a summit in December (it was to be held in person but will be virtual). When we talk about Latin America, it is not only the free trade agreement with Mercosur, but also modernization and cooperation agreements with other countries, such as Chile or Mexico. With the agreement we will achieve much more than we achieve without the agreement.