EU needs new model for Mercosur trade talks
"Trade Commissioner De Gucht should adapt the Commission’s model of negotiations to Mercosur instead of always coming up with the same obsolete free trade agreement (FTA) model that increases social and environmental problems," German MEP and member of the EU-Mercosur delegation Jürgen Klute argued after MEPs set out their position on EU-Mercosur FTA talks, just days ahead of the bi-regional EuroLat parliamentary Assembly in Santiago.
Voting on a resolution on January 17th, 284 of 754 MEPs backed talks for an EU-Mercosur FTA. Many MEPs did not participate in the vote while 87 voted against the text - mainly GUE/NGL and greens.
"We expect better ideas and less dogmatism from the Commission in order to achieve progress. The Commission and Parliament should not ignore the results of Sustainable Impact Assessments (SIAs) on a possible EU-Mercosur trade agreement. They have warned of the serious adverse impacts on global biodiversity and climate change that the agreement could have."
"New forms of cooperation are possible. Countries such as Argentina prove this and Europe should be able to exchange experiences and learn from partners. Argentina, confronted with a major financial crisis in 2001, has chosen a quite different path to Europe in recent years. They rightly refused to impose on Argentinean citizens the blunt austerity measures which had been recommended by the IMF."
Klute deplores the rejection of proposals made by the left group in Thursday's FTA vote: "Unfortunately the same majority of EPP, S&D, ALDE and ECR MEPs rejected our amendments requesting the Commission not to break Mercosur unity when negotiating with the region, to support the prompt democratic reaction of the whole region to the recent coup in Paraguay, and to negotiate the financial and investment chapters of any new trade agreement in the context of the need to fight against money laundering and tax fraud. We will continue to push these points at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly in Santiago de Chile.”
The Eurolat Assembly brings together members from Latin America and Europe from 23 to 25 of January to discuss and vote different resolutions. The Assembly comes just before a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and EU states. Klute will also take part in the "People’s Summit of Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe For Social Justice, International Solidarity and in Defence of the Commons" organized by political and social organizations, trade unions and students to be held at the University of Chile.
Contact in Chile: Viviana Viera (569) 57947 83