Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's government has shown new commitment to ending illegal deforestation in the Amazon and is aware it is a hurdle to improved ties with Europe, DEU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Thursday (4 November).
In an interview with EURACTIV, the outgoing president of Eurochambres, an association of European chambers of commerce, has criticised the EU’s environmental policy and called for more trade "with all parts of the world", including China and Russia.
In an unprecedented move, the EU has included the first animal welfare-based condition in the Mercosur trade agreement, but stakeholders warned that this does not go far enough to save the controversial deal that is facing increasing opposition in Europe.
The EU must understand that a promise in a trade deal is no substitute for a deforestation control policy – something that’s awfully lacking in Brazil under its far-right regime, writes Marcio Astrini.
The Portuguese Foreign Minister has said that the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union is working with Mercosur countries on "additional clarification" on environmental standards in the trade agreement negotiated with the EU.
Portugal will "immediately follow up" on the proposal for further clarification of the EU-Mercosur agreement that the European Commission presents, the foreign minister said on Monday, reiterating that he "strongly" expects progress on this matter during the Portuguese presidency.
Portugal’s secretary of state for internationalisation, Eurico Brilhante Dias, defended the importance of the EU-Mercosur agreement, not only in the field of trade, but also at "geopolitical and geostrategic" level.
The test for the EU's biodiversity strategy will be whether all EU legislation matches its ambition on nature protection, Green lawmakers argued in an environment committee debate about the strategy on Thursday (14 January).
A leaked version of the EU-Mercosur treaty negotiation text, published by Greenpeace Germany, has no provisions to ensure the Paris climate agreement is enforced, leaving the door open to further deforestation in the Amazon, campaigners say.
The European Commission's executive vice-president, Valdis Dombrovskis, told the European Parliament on Friday (2 October) that he will put forward a new mechanism to protect the EU from the coercive manoeuvres of trade partners like US and China.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Monday (21 September) said he still believes ratification of an EU trade deal with South America is possible, despite European anger over deforestation in Brazil.
Mercosur ministers reported progress on the final text of a trade agreement with the European Union on Wednesday (1 July) on the eve of a summit meeting overshadowed by French President Emmanuel Macron's latest comments against the deal.
The so-called "Southern Common Market" or Mercosur hopes to finally sign by the end of this year the association agreement with the European Union reached in June 2019 after two decades of negotiations, Paraguay's Foreign Minister Antonio Rivas declared on Tuesday (30 June). EURACTIV's partner EFE Asunción reports.
The resumption of negotiations on the controversial Mercosur agreement and trade policy with the United States are among the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency. This is unlikely to please other member states. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Ireland's parliament voted on Thursday (11 July) to press the government to lead opposition inside the European Union to a draft trade deal that Brussels has struck with the Mercosur bloc of South American countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron defended a huge trade deal agreed by the European Union and four South American countries and warned against "neo-protectionism", as farmers and environmentalists step up their resistance to the accord.