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The Mercosur-EU Preferential Trade Agreement.

A view from Europe
Publisher: 
CEPS
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
377
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
This paper first aims at assessing the economic and political importance of Mercosur for the
EU’s interests in the short and medium run – say for the one or two coming decades or so.
As Mercosur’s size is largely determined by Brazil’s size, this paper focuses on Brazil –
although the paper assumes that, from Brazil’s perspective, a Brazil–EU preferential trade
agreement (PTA) is a non-starter. It then aims at positioning the Mercosur–EU (MEU) PTA in
the context of the EU’s current trade policy. In particular, it tries to assess, once one takes
into account all the crucial goals to be met by the EU, whether the EU is likely to find the
time and the resources necessary for dealing properly with a MEU PTA; this effort is notably
complicated by the very divergent views on the role of trade between Brazil on the one hand,
and Argentina and Venezuela, on the other hand. Finally, the paper examines the PTA
options that can be seen as reasonably feasible. It suggests that, unless there are dramatic
changes in Mercosur’s present trajectory, the goal of negotiating a fully-fledged MEU PTA
should be set aside for some time – at least a decade or so. This does not mean leaving the
negotiating table, but rather focusing on negotiating topics that remain attractive to both
sides in the current context, and manageable and flexible enough to overcome the broad
general problems confronted by Mercosur and the EU.

In Search of a Feasible EU-Mercosul Free Trade Agreement.

Publisher: 
CEPS
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
378
Abstract: 
This paper aims at identifying ways to pursue the EU–Mercosul negotiations leading to a
free trade agreement (FTA). After reviewing their already long history, it outlines a basic
framework, in goods, services and other themes, judged possible. The main point is that,
given the prevailing conditions on both sides, an agreement to be signed within a reasonable
time must be modest, i.e. along the described lines. It then clearly sets up the decisions
confronting the negotiators: either to pursue the modest, feasible option or to terminate
negotiations under the FTA heading. The latter, however, does not imply an end to the
dialogue. Many actions and measures may be taken – which are easier to discuss and fix –
that could pave the way for, in due time, a closer-to-ideal FTA to be considered again. These
are the subjects of a last section.
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