If the ue-mercuseur treaty – the largest global agreement ever negotiated – is adopted, it will create an open market of 780 million people with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $19 trillion between the two blocs. The pact is of great value to both parties: in EU countries, most export tariffs to Mercosur are abolished, including for cars and chemicals; while the South American bloc, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, will benefit from an exemption from import taxes on 81.7% of agricultural products. A test for Brazil`s new status as a centre will be set up next year, as all countries in the Paris Agreement will announce new national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by November 2021, when the next UN climate change conference will be held in Glasgow. Deforestation accounted for 44% of Brazil`s emissions in 2019. One of the biggest opponents of the trade deal is the French government of Emmanuel Macron, whose party did not triumph in the municipal elections of 28 June 2020 against the victorious Greens. The next day, Mr Macron suspended negotiations with the EU-Mercosur bloc. “[We] will not conclude a trade agreement with countries that do not comply with the Paris agreement,” Macron said, a clear reference to Bolsonaro and the Brazilian government. “I think it`s clear… that if we do nothing now, we would simply follow things in a procedural way and this agreement ratifies it, chances are it will not be ratified, which would be an unfortunate result. That is why we need to see what are the preconditions or prior commitments on the part of Mercosur to ensure a successful ratification of the agreement. The document to be sent to the EU Ombudsman – a channel through which civil society can question the functioning of the European Commission – states that the EU`s executive body signed the agreement without a full assessment of its future impact on the environment.
The free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, concluded a year ago in June of this year, meets, in addition to Latin American institutions, growing opposition from European national governments, European parliamentarians and non-profit organisations and jeopardises their ratification. Carvalho, from the Eurasia Group, pointed out another important factor that should enter contract negotiations in the coming months: “EU technicians, bureaucrats and politicians will closely monitor what will happen in the Amazon during the dry season just started.Originally published on April 13, 2021