At the end of a seminar this week on Mercosur economic relations, the possibility of establishing a common parliament for the four member countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) was discussed.
Jorge Fontoura, a specialist in international commerce who works at the Senate, says that Mercosur has never been stronger politically and that the disputes between Brazil and Argentina are “normal between friendly nations.”
According to Maria Cláudia Drummond, a legislative consultant at the Brazilian Senate, in spite of some problems, Brazil and Argentina are interested in moving ahead with “institutionalizing” the economic block and are favorable to a revision of the Ouro Preto protocol which created Mercosur so that the original custom’s union can be expanded.
The problem with the protocol is that it requires all Mercosur agreements to be incorporated into the domestic legislation of each member nation.
The seminar discussed cutting the red tape that hinders approval of Mercosur agreements. At the moment, a Mercosur agreement has to go through at least seven votes (and sometimes votes in as many as eleven different congressional commissions) in order to be approved by Brazil.
Since Mercosur was created in 1991, the block has approved a total of 80 agreements. However, as of now, only 21 of those agreements have been approved by the legislative bodies of all four member nations.
Reporter: Ellis Regina
Translator: Allen Bennett