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Twenty years after a path called MERCOSUR

posted Oct 6, 2011, 1:20 AM by Plural CentroStudiEuropeo   [ updated Oct 11, 2011, 3:47 AM ]
The last 26th of March, MERCOSUR turned twenty years old, in the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Asunción, in Paraguay, that provided it with the necessary legal framework. His gestation, assures Oscar Laborde, Representative of the Foreign Ministry of Argentina, was an act of institutional

engineering by Brazil and Argentina, in order to process their contradictions in the economic and commercial field. Today, twenty years after the signing of the Treaty, some people claim that there already is a model of integration, and effective structures and accomplishments. 

Accomplishments and failures of Mercosur

UNASUR is perhaps the most important realization of this process, for the achievements fulfilled: a common front towards the attempted coup in Ecuador, mediation between Colombia and Venezuela, and the stopping of secessionist attitudes in Bolivia; that is to say tangible issues, that the citizens can verify, and that point directly to the consolidation of democracy and the consolidation of human rights”, assures Laborde.

On the other hand, there are people who criticize the Southern Common Market (Mercado Común del Sur, MERCOSUR), on the grounds of not being able to overcome the continuing internal conflicts, and not managing to expand itself, for the obstacles posed to the acceptance of Venezuela with the same status of its founding members, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. 

During those two decades, episodes of commercial crises between Argentina and Brazil have repeated themselves, and so have requests from Paraguay and Uruguay to correct the asymmetries existing with the economies of their larger partners. 

Moreover, the partners of the bloc have not succeeded in exiting from the crisis that shook them in the nineties, nor could they realize the awaited, and hoped for, free trade agreement with the European Union. Notwithstanding all of this, the regional mechanism was able to increase internal trade from 4.500 million $ in 1991 to 45.000 million $ in 2010. 

An agreement between developing countries

Along the way there have also remained issues like the adoption of a single currency, following the example of the European Union, or the better functioning of entities like the Court of the MERCOSUR. 

Twenty years after the beginning of an ambitious path called MERCOSUR, some people claim that it is possible, and also necessary, to maintain an optimistic vision, and attitude. “A very positive step between the countries of the region from the political and social standpoint”; affirms Aldo Ferrer, former Minister for the Economy of Argentina. We have to take into account that, unlike the European Union, MERCOSUR is and therefore, not fully mature industrial economies. This is obviously a very complex reality, in which, to some extent, the national transformation and the project of integration are converging.

 Article from Plural Magazine #1

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Flavia Cori



Plural CentroStudiEuropeo,
Oct 6, 2011, 1:20 AM