Michel asks Lula to take advantage of the momentum with the region to finalize the agreement with Mercosur

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel – Philipp von Ditfurth/dpa

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Wednesday called on the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, to take advantage of the new political scenario in Latin America and the momentum of the European Union with the region to finalize the trade agreement with the Mercosur countries.

In a bilateral meeting in Argentina, where a meeting of leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is being held, the former Belgian prime minister has insisted on the EU’s intention to intensify relations with the region and, in particular, with Brazil after years of little cooperation during the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro.

To this effect, Michel has underlined that an «important aspect» of the relationship between Brussels and Brasilia is the EU trade treaty with Mercosur. «The president of the European Council called to use this political momentum to finalize the agreement and revive the trade treaty with Mercosur,» an EU spokesperson has informed.

The EU’s trade treaty with the Mercosur countries — Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay — was agreed by the parties several years ago but its ratification is deadlocked because of reservations by several member states, led by France.

In this regard, the EU leader has invited Lula to participate in the summit of EU and CELAC leaders to be held in Brussels on July 17 and 18, and has proposed to start working for a summit with Brazil, an event that has not been held since 2014.

SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY IN BRAZIL The meeting has also served for the EU representative to congratulate the Brazilian president on his return to the Presidency and to express his support for democracy in Brazil after the assault by Bolsonaro’s followers on the country’s main institutions on January 8.

Michel and Lula also discussed international political issues such as the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, insisting on the importance of defending the world order based on rules and respecting territorial integrity.