This week, from 20 to 24 March, the 27th Meeting of the MERCOSUR-European Union Bi-regional Negotiations Committee is being held at the Palacio San Martín, under the Argentine Presidency of MERCOSUR. For the first time since 2012, this round includes not only the negotiation of the economy and trade chapter, but also the pillars of political dialogue and cooperation, essential parts of the Association Agreement between both regions.
As regards trade negotiations, there are twelve teams working on different aspects of the Association Agreement: trade in goods, trade in services, government procurement, customs and trade facilitation, intellectual property, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, defence of trade, dispute settlement and institutional affairs, trade and sustainable development.
The overall objective is for all teams to agree on a single negotiated text at the end of this round. In this regard, the group in charge of defence of competition has finished its work and has fully agreed on the text of that chapter.
Chief Negotiators will have to consider the current state of proposals on trade and other important issues, in addition to current and future requests for improvement aimed at broadening the scope of trade between both regions.
Moreover, a number of new issues have been raised, which remain to be discussed. Among these stand out the provisions for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises from MERCOSUR and the EU to be able to derive the greatest possible advantage from the agreement.
In parallel to the official negotiations, there have been contacts between Chief Negotiators and civil society actors such as trade unions and business organizations, among others, in order to enhance the transparency of the negotiation process.
Negotiators are hoping to make progress so as to conclude the main negotiation of the Agreement in the near future.
Press release No. 085/17
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