EU-Mercosur agreement faces a crossroads in Brazil’s presidential election

The free trade agreement reached in 2019 remains stalled, largely due to EU concerns with Brazil’s environmental commitments. But it is not clear if a change of government in Brasília would resolve the deadlock

Lula and French President Emmanuel Macron met in November 2021, in Paris. Photo: Laurent Blevennec/Elysée

The Jair Bolsonaro administration can claim few diplomatic achievements for Brazil, but one of them is undoubtedly concluding the two-decades-long negotiations for a free-trade agreement between Mercosur — a trade alliance between Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay — and the European Union.

However, since being signed in 2019, the deal has stalled. European countries opposed to some of the provisions have slammed the brakes on ratification, citing Brazil’s poor enforcement of environmental protection policies.

The upcoming presidential elections in Mercosur’s largest economy throw further uncertainty into the mix. The frontrunner, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has been ambivalent...

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