The objectives of this Agreement shall be to strengthen the existing relations between the Parties and to prepare conditions enabling an interregional association to be created. To these ends, the Agreement covers trade and economic matters, cooperation regarding integration and other fields of mutual interest. Here are the objectives put forward in 1995 by the Interregional framework cooperation Agreement that still shapes the relations between the European Union and Mercosur. As it is highlighted, the main ambition seemed to promote favorable conditions for a greater integration and trade liberalization with a view to ultimately develop the first inter-regional association and a top-world free trade area. Since its creation in 1991 by the Asuncion Treaty, Mercosur which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela - has thus highly benefited from the European Commission's support to bolster up its economic and commercial project as well as to clarify its institutional framework.
[...] For instance, one should take into account that Brazil roughly represents 2/3 of the Mercosur population, GDP and territory and as a result, it is opting to loosen strategies that enables a wide range of action. However, Mercosur shares with the EU, the ambition of an international order ruled by multilateralism and a common attitude vis-à-vis the US oscillating between automatic alignment and, if not confrontation, sheer antipathy. The 1995 US project to create a Free Area of Americas (FTAA) had been widely considered by South American states as a new resurgence of the US imperialism on the Americas, historically depicted by the Monroe doctrine and by the cold war period. [...]
[...] Indeed, even if its integration remains incomplete, the Mercosur customs union would have already enabled the free circulation for 88% of goods and services within the zone. Similarly, a common external tariff has been instituted. It would therefore seem that the EU/Mercosur relations follow a strict economic and commercial path without imagining a broader horizon. However, stabilization through growth and economic development is solely the visible part of the iceberg. Beneath the surface appears the way the EU strategy shapes the international relations with the universal norms or at least, norms seen by Europeans as universal. [...]
[...] As a result, the Mercosur integration has undergone several breakthroughs such as the creation of a Mercosur political direction body in June 2003 –inspired by the European body COREPER or even more recently, the institutionalization of a Mercosurian Parliament in March 2007. The EU provided for this project which is based on the initial European Parliament model (proposal and control power) with direct elections. Therefore, the EU is considered as a worthy model to the Mercosur integration. Similarly, the EU tries to foster the awareness of itself and Mercosur within civil society. [...]
[...] Thus, even though the origins of the partnership between the EU and Mercosur fit in economic relations, inter-regional cooperation has reached other sectors, in which the EU imposes its values as an influential model. Firstly, “what the EU does in Mercosur reflects how it sees Mercosur”. Whereas enlargement targets the core area of Europe, stabilizing its neighborhood and bilaterally greatly and establishing strong powers. Inter- regionalism is aiming regions and regional organizations. So, Mercosur is considered as a promising project that could become EU's counterpart. [...]
[...] Bibliography - GRUGEL Jean, “Democratization and Ideational Diffusion” in JCMS, March 2007 - FARELL Mary, External Relations: Exporting the EU Model of Governance?” in European Foreign Affairs Review, Winter 2005 - HETTNE Björne, SODERMAN Fredrik, “Civilian Power or Soft Imperialism? The EU as a Global actor and the role of Inter-regionalism”. - Working Group, Political Issues in the EU-Mercosur Negotiations, Chaire Mercosur de Sciences Po - Working Group, Vers un accord entre l'Europe et le Mercosur, Presses de Sciences Po - Chaire Mercosur de Sciences Po, EU-Mercosur Trade Negociations : Make or Brake (2006 Report). [...]
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