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Defending the EU-Mercosur trade agreement

15 March 2024 On the Research side
Published by Patrick BOUILLET
Viewed 36 times

Interview with Camilla Villard Duran, Associate Professor of International Law, Director of Research - ESSCA

Every Monday, a member of the international academic association " UACES", to which ESSCA's EU*Asia Institute belongs, talks to euradio about a topical issue linked to his or her research.
The original interview is available on the Euradio website.

Camila Villard Duran, you're a professor of law at ESSCA School of Management, and as a lawyer, you're keen to defend an unfriendly "suspect".

Indeed, I'd like to defend this trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur.

You know that many European farmers are currently protesting against such an agreement!

I know and understand this resistance. The simple fact that trade negotiations with Mercosur have been going on since 1999 illustrates the complexity and challenges inherent in drawing up international trade pacts between groups of countries with divergent interests.

What are the main difficulties?

On the Mercosur side, European access to public procurement markets has become a serious problem, exacerbated by Brazil's policy of promoting the growth of local companies.

On the EU side, the insistence on strict environmental and social standards has not gone down well with Mercosur member countries. In their view, the requirements imposed by the EU seem redundant with existing global commitments, such as the Paris Agreement.

Mercosur nations are also represented in other multilateral environmental forums, and if there are occasional shortcomings in the implementation of their commitments, the same could be said of many European member states. As a result, the EU's demands are perceived as being primarily motivated by national protectionism.

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