The EU-Mercosur Association Agreement should be “flipped” to support environmentally sound supply chains, rather than try to mitigate the harm from business as usual, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) heard on 25 February 2021. The remarks were made by one of the expert speakers at the hearing of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade, which met to consider the trade deal they may one day have to vote through or veto.
While #SayNoEUMercosur protesters demonstrated outside against the potentially destructive deal , MEPs heard concrete proposals concerning what it would take to bring the deal within environmentally sustainable boundaries, in keeping with the European Green Deal agenda. The proposals, drawn up by a multidisciplinary team of academics and published earlier this month, would require a root-and-branch renegotiation of the agreement. The proposals are in line with Fern’s own position on the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement.
To achieve these kinds of changes would require at least some political will from leaders in the EU and Mercosur countries. In the case of Brazil at least, such an advance does not look hopeful. President Bolsonaro and his closest allies have been pursuing a relentless anti-environment and anti-human rights agenda since taking power in 2019.
This agenda received a boost early February, when Brazil’s Congress elected staunch Bolsonaro supporters to lead both the Senate and the lower house. With the voices of opposition weakened, the Bolsonaro government is set to continue its assault on environmental regulations. The work of environmental defenders in Brazil, who already risk their lives to protect forests and other ecosystems, became even more dangerous this month: Four Presidential decrees passed in February have made it significantly easier for people to buy guns and ammunition, with much less federal police and army oversight.
Category: EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement