MERCOSUR – EU, Lula Warns, “We Do Not Sign Agreements That Doom Us”

Lula: We do not want to be in the eternal role of a raw material exporter

The summit that was attended by the presidents of the member states of MERCOSUR, the common market of South America, has ended in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina.

A major topic of the meeting is the trade agreement with the European Union. A framework agreement was reached in 2019, but there are still points to be corrected and, above all, the agreement must be fair, according to the current president, Ignacio Lula.

“I undertake to work out an agreement with the European Union that must be balanced,” explained the President of Brazil, the current head of the bloc. “The additional document presented by the EU in March this year is unacceptable, as strategic partners do not negotiate in distrust. It is crucial that MERCOSUR responds quickly and decisively. We don’t want to play an eternal role of raw material exporters.” Lula emphasized the fact that agreements are not signed “with a sword pointed at the head.” This refers to a more restrictive agreement on environmental issues that Brussels would like to add.

In any case, the main task of Lula’s six-month presidency is to specifically unblock and finalize the agreement with Europe by the end of the year, to complete negotiations that have been going on for two decades. The South American countries then reaffirmed “MERCOSUR’s commitment to strengthening democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and stressed the importance of the bloc’s economic, commercial, social, and cultural agenda for the benefit of its citizens.” This can be read in a document published after the meeting, which, however, does not have the signature of the President of Uruguay, Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou.

The latter declared the need for greater flexibility of the Mercosur bloc, threatening to “close the unilateral agreements,” which his colleagues strongly opposed.