EU Mercosur negotiators work to close Treaty before the end of the year

The Foreign Minister of Paraguay, Luis Alberto Castiglioni, said today that the negotiating teams of the Trade Agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU) are working "forced marches" to "close the negotiations before December 31."

The chancellor explained to the media that the goal is to sign the Treaty "as soon as possible", before the end of the first quarter of next year begins the election campaign for the European elections in May, as the European Parliament currently has with a "favorable" majority to the agreement.

Castiglioni said that in mid-December the EU and Mercosur negotiators - made up of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil - will meet as well as the foreign ministers of the bloc and the presidents of those countries to advance the negotiating process, although There is still no official confirmation of those meetings.

Previously, on the 6th of that month, a summit of foreign ministers of Mercosur will be held in Brasilia to set the common position of the bloc in the final stage of the negotiation.

The chancellor was "optimistic" in the goal of concluding the negotiation this year, despite the fact that the last round of negotiations between both parties, held between November 12 and 20 in Brussels (Belgium), concluded without much progress.

On that occasion, progress was made on "some issues", but without "substantial and much less decisive progress" on the most important interests for the EU, as the negotiators then commented to Efe in Brussels.

Negotiations between Mercosur and the EU are halted around geographical indications, the automotive and dairy sectors, and the EU's offer of "access to the product market," Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin explained last month. Novoa, who announced that Mercosur would present new proposals to the EU.

The EU and Mercosur negotiate this agreement based on three pillars - political dialogue, cooperation and free trade - since 2000.


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