EU and Mercosur business leaders are looking to the negotiated agreement between the two regions as a lever to strengthen sustainability. Political and business representatives from the EU, Portugal and Brazil agreed at the Debate organised by BusinessEurope on 30 April 2021 that the EU and Mercosur will have more benefits with the agreement than without.
It would promote technology transfers and stimulate economic growth in both regions. Moreover, it could create the very mechanisms that comprehensively promote sustainable agriculture and lower-carbon supply chains.
According to Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President and Trade Commissioner of the EU Commission, the agreement is one of the most progressive the EU has ever negotiated in terms of trade and sustainable development. In order to dispel existing doubts about this, the EU Commission has proposed to include an additional instrument in the agreement. This would make it possible to better monitor and ensure compliance with commitments to protect the climate and the environment. The Mercosur states are prepared to discuss this.
Now both sides need to work on the definition, negotiation and implementation of this instrument. Then the formal legal examination of the agreement – the so-called “legal scrubbing” – could be finalised. Dombrovskis expects this to happen by the end of 2021, and the ratification process could begin in 2022. For this to succeed, it is essential that the positive voices make themselves heard more, says the trade commissioner.