EU seeks post-election approval of Mercosur trade deal, says Brussels’ chief negotiator

Wednesday, May 8, 2024
The EU is preparing for swift approval of a long-stalled trade agreement with the Mercosur bloc – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay – post-June’s European Parliament elections, according to Rupert Schlegelmilch, Brussels’ top negotiator. Schlegelmilch toured the four Mercosur countries last week to iron out the technical details of the agreement, which, if signed, would be the EU’s largest to date, covering 10% of the world’s population and 20% of global GDP. In an interview with the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo on 2 May, Schlegelmilch confirmed that he was doing pending “homework” with the Latin American countries in order to seal the agreement should a window of opportunity arise after June. “The agreement is very much alive. The fact is that the Commission is still negotiating,” Schlegelmilch told Folha de S. Paulo. “We have a mandate from all the member states, including France, to do this,” he stressed.
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