Sunday, April 30, 2006
Patrick J. O’Donoghue
EU commissioner: Venezuelan withdrawal from CAN complicates free trade agreement
VHeadline.com News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue writes: The European Community (EU) has announced that Venezuela’s withdrawal from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) will have a negative effect on planned free trade agreements.
EU commissioner for foreign affairs, Benita Ferrero-Waldner has told the European Parliament that the withdrawal complicates things.
The EU had hoped to open free trade agreements with Andean countries and Central American countries in May.
The commissioner recommends starting negotiations with Central American countries first, even though she stresses that the latter must show signs of wanting to integrate with other countries.
"Unfortunately, the situation is more complicated with the Andean Community after Venezuela decided to withdraw several days ago."
The commissioner says she has spoken to Bolivian President, Evo Morales as the new temporary CAN president ... "we hope that internal CAN meetings will open paths of progress."
However, with the latest development of tense relations between Peru and Venezuela, it seems unlikely that any progress will be forthcoming.
If Ollanta Humala wins the second round of elections in Peru, then there will be no CAN to negotiate with and instead perhaps another more radical regional organization.
The EU is currently reviewing a possible trade agreement with the Southern Cone Economic Zone (Mercosur) block.