“The additional instrument presented by the European Union in March, 2023 is unacceptable. Strategic partners do not negotiate based on mistrust and the threat of sanctions,” assured Lula after having assumed command of the alliance in the Argentine city of Puerto Iguazu.
“It is imperative that MERCOSUR shows a rapid and steady response,” added the president. For six months, Brazil takes up the pro tempore presidency of the group, which is also made up of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The document cited by Lula, with conditions imposed by the EU for the closing of the compromise, foresees sanctions on environmental issues and is the reason for the stalemate in negotiations.
For the former trade unionist, MERCOSUR has no interest “in trade that condemns us to the eternal role of exporters of raw materials, minerals and oil.”
However, Lula stated that he is committed to conclude the negotiations with the European mechanism. “I am committed to seal the deal with the European Union, which must be balanced and ensure the necessary space for the adoption of public policies in favor of productive integration and reindustrialization.”
Negotiated since 1999, the deal had the commercial part completed in 2019 and is under review by the countries of the two blocs.