Published 7/5/2023 2:07 PM | Edited 7/6/2023 10:06 AM
The 62nd Summit of Mercosur Presidents ended this Tuesday (4th) with a joint communiqué, signed by three of the four member countries. The document highlights agreed commitments and recognizes achievements already obtained. In addition, the new Mercosur Origin Regime (ROM) was approved.
During the meeting, held in Puerto Iguazu, Argentina, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, sworn in as president of Mercosur for the next six months, defended the union between the countries and criticized the impositions made by the European Union for the closure of an agreement the Mercosur.
This Wednesday (5) a telephone conversation is scheduled between Lula and Pedro Sanchez, president of Spain and recently sworn in as president of the Council of the European Union, to discuss the trade agreement between the two blocs. In his inauguration speech at the head of Mercosur, the Brazilian president highlighted that the issue can no longer be postponed and classified the Additional Instrument presented by the EU in March as unacceptable.
The final document of the Mercosur summit had the signatures of the presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; from Argentina, Alberto Fernández and from Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez. President Luis Lacalle Pou, of Uruguay, decided not to adhere to the communiqué, as he disagrees with the unilateral agreement that the country is trying to close with China. In the assessment of the other three members, such a posture weakens the bloc’s trade negotiating power.
In the communiqué, the countries reaffirmed, first of all, their commitment to “the defense and strengthening of democratic institutions and the full application of the rule of law, the fundamental principles of international law, the protection and promotion of human rights and unrestricted respect for to fundamental freedoms as essential conditions for the consolidation and deepening of the regional integration process”.
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They also signaled in the sense of “strengthening the inclusion of the Associated States, achieving a growing active participation in regional political matters” and committed themselves to continue and deepen this expansion of the Political Mercosur, in order to “increasingly reflect the diversity of the reality of the peoples that make up the Expanded Mercosur”. In this sense, the commitment to strengthen ties between Mercosur and the Andean Community was reaffirmed. In addition to the member countries, the summit was attended by the president of Bolivia, Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, as an Associated State.
The document also underscores the importance of member countries continuing to strengthen Mercosur “by overcoming existing asymmetries between Member States and Associated States and reiterated, with special emphasis, the need to generate common instruments that guarantee the fluidity of trade” .
As for the environmental issue, the three signatory countries agreed with the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions — economic, social and environmental — “in a balanced and integrated manner”, in addition to the need to “redouble efforts to combat the triple planetary crisis” — climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity. At the same time, they recognized the importance of “increasing the production and use of renewable energy and accelerating the energy transition in a sustainable, fair, equitable and inclusive manner”.
Human rights and violence
The communiqué also points to the search for actions and exchange related to policies against violence against women; protection of the elderly and the preservation, revitalization and promotion of indigenous languages. And it emphasizes the fight against racial discrimination and the strengthening of mechanisms that “guarantee the full access and permanence of the Afro-descendant population to education at all levels, justice and integral health, as part of an agenda of reparations”.
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In addition, he highlighted the commitment to democracy and the promotion and protection of human rights as “indissoluble axes”, underlining “the need to deepen citizen participation in the region, in order to strengthen our societies and peoples”.
With regard to violence and organized crime, the document emphasizes the commitment to regional cooperation “in the fight against transnational organized crime and related crimes”, highlighting the work of the Working Group on Firearms and Ammunition, “for its commitment to the prevention, punishment, eradication and fight against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, ammunition, explosives and other related materials”.
Mercosur Origin Regime (ROM)
Approved during the summit, the Mercosur Origin Regime (ROM) is a mechanism that aims to boost trade through the adoption of best international practices, simplification of current rules and making verification and control tools more agile. origin.
Among the changes in the ROM is the 5% increase in the limit of imported inputs in an origin product. Thus, in order to be considered national, a product can have a maximum of 45% of the raw material purchased from a country outside Mercosur. “This measure represents a significant step towards strengthening economic integration in the region and increasing the competitiveness of Brazilian companies in the international market”, evaluated the executive secretary of the Ministry of Development, Industry, Commerce and Services (MDIC), Márcio Elias Rosa.
Read the full letter here.