After approximately 20 years of negotiations, the EU and the Mercosur countries agreed on a joint trade agreement in 2019 – however, it has not yet been concluded. The objection of the countries blocking the agreement was that the Brazilian president at the time, Jair Bolsonaro, did not put a stop to the large-scale slash-and-burn clearances in the Amazon region. However, since the new head of government, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, took office, there has been growing confidence that the agreement will be concluded quickly.
But still, one key question remains with regard to the trade agreement with the Mercosur countries, that is, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay: Is trade possible without the risk of deforestation? Civil society and some EU member states, such as France and Austria, claim the clauses in the draft are not enough because they are not enforceable. They are calling for effective protection against deforestation and forest degradation that will endure even if agricultural land-use pressures increase – not least because of the export opportunities created by the agreement. Effective sanctions are a key element here, but they are difficult to implement because modifications to the current …read more
Source:: German Institute for International and Security Affairs