The EU rules out lowering the standards if Brazil wants to renegotiate the agreement with Mercosur
The presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) warned today that it will not lower "standards" in the event that the president-elect of Brazil, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro, ask to reopen chapters of the association agreement negotiating the EU bloc and the Mercosur
"We have seen the elections in Brazil and what has been said during the elections, which indicates that Brazil wants to renegotiate and reopen what has already been achieved" so far, the Austrian Minister of Economy, Margarete Schramböck, told the press upon arrival at a Council of EU Trade Ministers.
In his role at the head of the rotating presidency of the Council, "from my point of view, we will not give in to anything that lowers Europe's standards, both in agriculture and in industrial products," he said.
"We do not know anything about the new Government of Brazil," which must take office on January 1, said the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, to the question of whether Bolsonaro in power sees the agreement move away the EU and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) have been negotiating since 2000.
The Swedish policy explained that for the moment his interlocutor is "the current Government" of Brazil.
"That's what we do and next year we'll see what happens, that's why we're trying to make the last push or at least one big enough to really close" the agreement, I continue, "and then we'll have to do with the new "Brazilian Administration, concluded.
The commissioner indicated that contacts between the EU and Mercosur have been "intensified" in recent weeks, and that "we are making progress but there are still things to be done".
The negotiators of both blocs will start next Monday in Brussels a new round of negotiations with the intention of giving a technical and political boost to the pending issues.
"The EU remains committed to a successful conclusion of an ambitious, balanced and mutually beneficial agreement with Mercosur, as soon as all the necessary elements are present," said community sources.
For his part, the French Secretary of State for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, stressed that his country wants "a balanced agreement" that recognizes the European protected geographical indications and has better access to Mercosur.
"At the moment we are not there," he said, and recalled that Bolsonaro has "evoked even a withdrawal from Mercosur": "If there is no balanced agreement, there will be no agreement," settled.
Malmström also ruled on the new agreement between the United States and Mexico and Canada, two states with which the EU maintains free trade agreements, and referred to the possibility that it contains issues related to vehicles and rules of origin that "could possibly affect to the "European" industry, although he acknowledged that "we are still analyzing" those points.