Published 07/06/2023 11:51 | Edited 7/6/2023 3:55 PM
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva confirmed that he will participate in the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union, which will take place on July 17 and 18 in Brussels, Belgium, and not occurred since 2015.
The presence was arranged after a telephone conversation between Lula and the president of Spain and of the EU Council, Pedro Sánchez, this Wednesday (5), when they discussed the impasses for closing the bloc’s agreement with Mercosur. Initially, the departure of vice president Geraldo Alckmin was expected.
Sánchez also invited Lula to the opening of the Summit’s Business Forum, which will also have the participation of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. At the forum, new European investments in Latin America should be announced. Spain recently assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Read too: “We have no alternative other than unity”, says Lula in Mercosur inauguration
The commitment is yet another opportunity for the Brazilian president to expose Brazil’s and Mercosur’s opposition to environmental constraints and the possibility of sanctions in case of non-compliance recently imposed by the European Union to close the agreement, which has been negotiated since 1999 and was completed in 2019.
Upon being sworn in at the head of Mercosur for the next six months, during the bloc’s summit meeting held earlier this week in Argentina, President Lula again classified the position adopted by the Europeans as “unacceptable”, but at the same time said he wanted to complete the covenant.
“I am committed to concluding the agreement with the European Union, which must be balanced and ensure the necessary space for the adoption of public policies in favor of productive integration and reindustrialization. The Additional Instrument presented by the European Union in March of this year is unacceptable”, he stressed.
Lula also highlighted that “strategic partners do not negotiate based on mistrust and the threat of sanctions.” And he said it was imperative that Mercosur “present a quick and forceful response”, adding: “It is inadmissible to give up the purchasing power of the State – one of the few instruments of industrial policy that we have left. We have no interest in agreements that condemn us to the eternal role of exporters of raw materials, ores and oil”.
With information from Palácio do Planalto and Agência Brasil