Quinta-feira, 15 de Julho de 2010

When the main topic in EU-Brazil talks is Mercosur...

By Pedro Seabra

 

In the wake of IV Summit between Brazil and the EU, a long-delayed trade agreement between the latter and Mercosur apparently became the central topic in the agenda. Curiously enough, the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership, agreed in 2007, was designed to precisely circumvent the usual blockades and disagreements that working with such regional organization implied and which stood in the way of a fruitful – and profitable – trading relationship between the two continents.

Nevertheless, as Brazil gained its desired formal recognition by the European highest institutions, it is striking to notice that it has not completely forsaken its South American peers, who helped sustain and fuel its regional political and economic preponderance in the past few years, which in turn, allowed for a greater Brazilian stance in the world, Europe included.

But despite currently aiming for higher stakes, Brazil does not appear to be willing to release the ‘leadership grip’ of its regional crown-jewel – even if only for the inherent economic benefits – and therefore, it comes as no surprise that when the EU wants to fast-track the negotiations – relaunched in May, in Madrid – regarding a six-year pending trade agreement with Mercosur, it knows who keeps on carrying the political weight amongst the remaining States.

Ultimately, Brazil still recognizes the advantages associated with the regional integration project that it helped to build and to that end, will continue – for the time being – to lead its development and growth in the international stages. To some extent, the EU could not be more grateful for such a leading partner.

 

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