The chief negotiators of the European Union (EU) and Mercosur will meet again on October 3 and 4 in Brasilia to continue advancing in the achievement of the annex on environmental commitments of the association agreement that the two parties have been negotiating for more than 20 years, the community spokesperson for Commerce told EFE this Wednesday, Olaf Gill.
“The next meetings of chief negotiators will take place next week, on October 3 and 4, in Brasilia,” confirmed the community spokesperson.
The European Commission (EC) made it clear this Monday that it continues to be in “regular” contact with Mercosur to fulfill the commitment to conclude the negotiations that complete the association agreement between the two blocs before the end of the year, after the ultimatum launched by Paraguay.
The next meetings of chief negotiators will take place next week, on October 3 and 4, in Brasilia
“The EU and Mercosur continue to maintain regular exchanges, both in person and virtual, following the presidential commitment to conclude the negotiations before the end of the year,” community sources indicated then.
The Paraguayan president, Santiago Peña, had stated that day that, if the agreement is not concluded before December 6, the South American bloc will withdraw and begin negotiating with Asian countries.
The last meeting at the level of negotiating heads of the two parties was “constructive” and took place on September 14, the sources recalled.
They also pointed out that, previously, the Commission received a document from Mercosur that they are “using as a basis for a greater commitment.”
This is the response of Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) to the European proposal for an annex to the association agreement focused on greater commitments against deforestation and in favor of environmental measures.
The ultimatum is added to the one already outlined last June by the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose country holds the rotating presidency of Mercosur and who gave until the end of this year to close the agreement between the EU and the South American bloc.
Mercosur considered that European claims on environmental matters are “unacceptable”, carry threats of sanctions and could represent a barrier to its exports to the EU.
Both parties held a meeting in the middle of this month in which they expressed their mutual willingness to get involved “very intensely” to progress in the negotiations of the free trade agreement and conclude it this year.
Giving a boost to this agreement is precisely one of the EU’s priorities ahead of the informal meeting of European Trade Ministers to be held on October 19 and 20 in Valencia (Spain).
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