Lula will receive for six months the pro tempore presidency of MERCOSUR (formed by Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) from the President of Argentina Alberto Fernández .
Press sources assure that expectations revolve around MERCOSUR-European Union (EU) agreement.
Despite the fact that the agreement is of extreme interest to MERCOSUR, Lula alluded to provisions that foresee harsh sanctions for the Brazilian government if they are not complied with, during his last visit to France, where he participated in the “Power Our Planet” event and the Summit for a New Global Financial pact.
“I am dying to reach an agreement with the European Union. But it is not possible, the additional letter made by the European Union does not allow an agreement to be made. We will prepare the answer and send it, but we need to start discussing,” he pointed out, and emphasized that “it is not possible for us to have a strategic association, and there is an additional letter that threatens a strategic partner.”
The agreement between the two blocs has been under negotiations since 1999. The trade negotiations ended back in 2019 and those related to political and cooperation aspects ended two years later. From thence, the pact has been under review for signature, but the environmental policy during the administration of former president Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022) made negotiations difficult.
According to the Secretary of Economic and Financial Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Maurício Carvalho, the Government is already in phase of concluding on points of commitment to present at the Iguazú forum and, later, to be presented to the European Union.