Author(s) Filipa Daniela Gomes dos Santos
Advisor(s) Pedro Madeira Froufe
Year 2015

Synopsis The global multilateralism has been the option for the expansion of trade and economic investments. The objectives of free trade exceeded the traditional notion of trade in goods liberalization to include contemporary topics such as services, investment and intellectual property and to be consistent with the rules established by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The interest of developing countries to implement inter-regional trade agreements with developed countries is one way to ensure necessary political and economic reforms and attracting more foreign direct investment. In this context, economic and world order can be characterized by the coexistence of regionalism and multilateralism. In general, preferential trade agreements have taken on increased importance since the failure of the Doha Round and consequently have proliferated in recent years. These agreements are an exception to the principle of the most favorable nation, laid down and regulated by the WTO. The negotiations on market access among the largest and most influential regions of Europe and Latin America can vary since mutual political influence to economic returns. Thus, the negotiations emerged on a trade preferential agreement between the European Union and Mercosur in 2000 to the present day. These negotiations have already suffered many forward and backward steps, and is expected its conclusion in the near future. The future of political and economic relations and cooperation between the EU and Mercosur will depend on the final results of the negotiations already ongoing. Therefore, the interests at stake must be expressed in all their diversity and fully considered, so that the conclusion of trade negotiations will be successful and initiate a new era of political and economic relations between the two regional blocs. Brazil has assumed an increasingly important role in Latin America and strengthened its position within Mercosur. In turn, the EU was not indifferent to their growth and, given its close relationship both culturally as history, established a strategic partnership in 2007 with Brazil. The bi-regional trade agreement, on the EU side, should increase market access for their goods and services and assist in the institutional strengthening of Mercosur, due to the free movement of goods and services as well as clearer and more efficient customs procedures. Towards Mercosur, negotiations should provide, on the one hand, greater access for Mercosur products and services to the European market and, on the other hand, a greater incentive for European direct foreign investment. Hence, Mercosur is expected to increase its exports to the EU due to the removal of trade barriers in the European market. Regarding the role of Brazil, its dominance in Latin America and particularly Mercosur and its long-term relationship with the EU could facilitate the successful conclusion of negotiations between the two blocs, functioning as a mediator. Thus, on the EU side has to mediate the reduction of protectionist policy of the Mercosur and consequently the opening of the European markets and industrial sector, particularly the automotive sector. On the side of Mercosur, you have to mediate EU barriers to agricultural sector.

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