EU and Mercosur Betting They Will Soon End Stalemate for Accord

The European Union seeks to reach an associative agreement with Mercosur in May 2006, and will attempt to achieve a breakthrough in the stagnated negotiations at a September meeting in Brussels.

“We are trying to move ahead in the negotiations to reach a positive result for the Vienna Summit in 2006,” EU Foreign Relations official Benita Ferrero Waldner said last week, in reference to the Latin American/EU presidential summit scheduled for May in the Austrian capital.


During a visit to Uruguay, which now holds the rotating Mercosur chair, Ms Ferrero confirmed the September ministerial meeting in Brussels to end the stalemate in negotiations between the two regions.


The EU official said that “a negotiation entails giving and receiving,” and therefore progress will have to be made in issues that concern Mercosur, such as European farming subsidies and a drop in tariffs on industrial services and production, which is what interests the EU.


Ms. Ferrero, who highlighted that the agreement is not only commercial but also political, said that immigration policy will also be addressed in the negotiations “in a very general way” to achieve “visa agreements,” although she stressed that this is an issue that “has to be dealt within a uniform fashion with the EU.”


The EU official also visited Brazil and following two days in Uruguay travelled to Lima, Peru that currently presides over the Andean Community, a block with which the EU is interested in beginning trade and cooperation talks.


Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela are members of the Andean Community of Nations.


This article appeared originally in Mercopress – www.mercopress.com.

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