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Delay of EU-Mercosur trade deal: A relief for peoples and environmental justice

Photo: The Left / flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED

Friends of the Earth International | 7 December 2023

Delay of EU-Mercosur trade deal: A relief for peoples and environmental justice


December 7th Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – After more than 20 years of negotiations the EU-Mercosur trade deal has been delayed again, with countries unable to reach an agreement by the end of an all-important Mercosur summit. With a dangerous new far-right Argentinian President and European Union election next year, now is the time to finally scrap this failed and out-of-date corporate trade deal.

The EU-Mercosur trade deal has been met with resistance from Friends of the Earth International groups as it would transfer enormous powers to multinational corporations, and undermine people’s fundamental rights to work, food, a healthy environment and a safe climate.

Maria Fernanda Lopez, from Tierra Nativa – Friends of The Earth Argentina, says:

“The elected president of Argentina, Javier Milei has openly declared positions that will destroy the environment and human rights. His denialist discourse is similar to what we have observed in the past with the ex-president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro. If the European Union stopped the EU-Mercosur Agreement due to the anti-environmental policies of Jair Bolsonaro, now with Milei the negotiations of this neocolonial agreement should be abandoned for good.”

The agreement requires obligations in a wide range of areas including services, government procurement and intellectual property. These commitments restrict the right of governments to regulate, put public services at risk of being privatized and undermine real solutions to building sustainable societies.

For Lúcia Ortiz of Amigas da Terra Brasil:

“It is a great victory for the Mercosur organisations and social movements that the renegotiation attempts with the European Union were not concluded this year. We reject these neoliberal and neocolonial agreements. We now wait for the official abandonment of this obsolete and asymmetrical agreement. It’s time for a new bi-regional cooperation, based on democracy, complementarity, solidarity and the sovereignty of the peoples.”

According to Julie Zalcman, from Friends of the Earth Europe:

“The EU-Mercosur deal is rotten to its core. No new sustainability paper could prevent the disastrous impacts it would have on climate, people and nature if it is ratified. The deal would only boost the use of toxic pesticides and big corporations’ profits, increase carbon emissions and deforestation, at the expense of the environment and local communities. As COP28 unfolds, leaders must prioritize our planet and lives over profits, and put a definitive stop to these climate-wrecking trade policies.”

Media contacts

Friends of the Earth members are available to provide comments in various languages. For comment, please contact:

Portuguese: Lúcia Ortiz +55 48 9915 0071 @amigasdaterrabr @atalc (Brasil)
Spanish: Alberto Villarreal +598 98 556 360 @redes_at @radiomundoreal (Uruguay), Maria Fernanda Lopez: +54 9 11 3236 3186 @TierraNativaATA (Argentina), Oscar Rivas: +595 981 551 883 @SobrevivenciaPy (Paraguay)
English/French: Julie Zalcman: +32 456 21 94 26 @foeeurope (Belgica), Sam Cossar-Gilbert @FoEInt (Australia)

 source: Friends of the Earth International