The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, José Manuel Albares, reiterated the support of the government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for the ratification of the free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur. In May 2021, Albares’s predecessor in office, Arancha Gonzáles Laya, had also said that the ratification of the agreement was a priority for the Spanish government.
Upon receiving the Brazilian chancellor, Carlos França, in Madrid, Albares highlighted the importance of multilateralism and of strengthening ties between the countries that make up the two blocs. In an official statement released shortly after the meeting, on Thursday (3), the Spanish ministry says that the conclusion of the agreement “will bring together two regions that already share values and interests”. [comuns]fostering economic and social growth on both sides of the Atlantic”.
After almost twenty years of negotiations, the main commercial and political aspects of the agreement were agreed, respectively, in June 2019 and in June 2020. Currently, the final text is being revised so that technical and legal issues can be resolved so that the text can then be translated into the 23 languages spoken within the European Union (made up of 27 countries) and Mercosur (made up of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay).
The final text still has to be unanimously approved by the Council of the European Union, as well as by the European Parliament. Furthermore, it will have to be approved by the parliaments of each of the member countries of the two blocs, whose governments must sign the agreement. The expectation is that, once in force, the treaty will allow the gradual reduction of customs tariffs, stimulating business.
According to Itamaraty, it is not possible to estimate the deadlines for each nation to complete the national ratification processes. Even so, Minister Carlos França has said that he is confident that the technical review and translation will be completed “in the coming months”, allowing the agreement to be signed soon.
During this Thursday’s meeting, France and Albares announced the creation of a bilateral commission (CBBE) which, according to the Spanish ministry, will provide the multiple sectoral dialogues underway with a “permanent structure” for negotiations. The foreign ministers also pointed out that tackling climate change is a priority for their countries.
Spain is the second largest issuer of direct investments in Brazil, having invested around US$ 79.1 billion in the financial, information and communications, extractive industries, electricity and gas sectors. It is also the eighth largest recipient of Brazilian exports, having purchased US$4.05 billion in Brazilian products in 2020.
The meeting with Albares took place during France’s official visit to Spain, which began last Wednesday (2) and ended today (4). Over the last three days, the Brazilian chancellor met with authorities and businessmen, to whom he presented the investment opportunities existing in Brazil, with emphasis on the projects included in the Investment Partnership Program (PPI).
France also ratified Brazil’s accession to two multilateral actions. The Ibero-American Initiative to Prevent and Eliminate Violence against Women was approved at the 27th Summit held by the Ibero-American General Secretariat last year in Andorra, and creates an intergovernmental forum whose mission will be to contribute to the elimination of violence against women. women.
The second action to which Brazil adhered is the Framework Convention for the Promotion of the Circulation of Talent in the Ibero-American Space. According to the Itamaraty, the convention tends to facilitate the mobility of entrepreneurs and other professionals and researchers between the signatory countries, favoring the exchange of knowledge and innovation.