Eladio Loizaga during his first participation in the EFE-Casa América Tribune/. Photo: Casa América
Julio García. Madrid
Paraguay’s Minister of Freign Affairs, Eladio Loizaga, stated yesterday that “Mercosur cannot be limited to a geographic area”, and admitted, faced with the difficulties of making headway, the possibility of establishing a “two-speed” system in the negotiation of an agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur.
At a conference organised by Agencia EFE and Casa de América in Madrid, Loizaga explained that these negotiations began in 1999, but that they remained paralysed for years, before recovering in 2012. “Europe forgot Latin America in that time”, he stated, adding that this situation has changed back, thanks to partners such as Spain, which “work as a dialogue bridge between that region and the EU”.
In this sense, he commented that Paraguay’s forethecoming Mercosur presidency, in the second semester of this year, will advance these negotiations with the EU. “If we lose this ride, we will be left behind, becoming nothing more than a sub-region”, he concluded.
The EU-CELAC Summit in June will favour the advancement of this dialogue
The Summit between the EU and the Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (Celac) will take place in Brussels on 10 and 11 June, and the Mercosur countries want use this to carry out a meeting with the Europeans, to try to take some steps in this dialogue.
Loizaga also commented that Mercosur is Paraguay’s foremost commercial partner, while the EU is its second, and that from this month they will be able to export to Europe their “premium” meat.
On the other hand he reminded that Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela make up Mercosur, while at the time underscoring his confidence that there will be an agreement soon with Bolivia to bring them in to the organization.