The president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, will then arrive in Buenos Aires on June 13 in a tour that will take her through Brazil and Chile. His time on the agenda will be short, by then its central objective will be Lula da Silvia in Brasilia.
With the trip, the European Union is powering its intention to advance in the region as the United States does to counter the immense Chinese presencewhich belongs to it on an economic and geostrategic level, and at the same time safe markets after the long Russian war in Ukraine.
He also comes to talk Mercosur-European Union agreement that both blocks have been talking for twenty years. These now try to revive her new “political” chapters but without economic concreteness.
Moreover, on 17 and 18 July there will be in Brussels a summit between the 27 presidents and prime ministers of EU members, which will then be led by Spain, and the 33 of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in which Alberto Fernández will participate and its chancellor, Santiago Cafiero, by now five months after ending his rule.
Von der Leyen, born in Germany, was very interested in coming to speak especially with Brussels’ main allies in terms of trade volume, Mexico and Brazil. She would have done it in April, but the postponement of Lula’s trip to China pushed that visit to June.
After years of comings and goings, absences and presences, and today looking towards the Indo-Pacific -it will be the first summit of the two blocs in eight years-Brussels’ wager is once again aimed at the 700 million inhabitants of the 33 countries that populate the CELAC territory.
Europeans are trying to seduce a region affected by the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, dictatorships, bad governance and poverty, with an investment programme. In principle we only talk about the Spanish women, a promise of 9,400 million euros, where Argentina did not appear as a destination until last year.
In fact, it was also discussed during Alberto Fernández’s visits to Pedro Sánchez in Madrid.
Argentina today lives in a very delicate situation. Investments are held when not paralyzed, in a waiting or slow-moving state, taking into account the problems faced by companies with a market subject to exchange controls, unable to take profits, influenced by dollar actions and inflation.
Europe has a critical need for raw materials – which even makes it dependent on China as a supplier. Latin America and the Caribbean are areas very rich in resources and minerals. Suffice it to mention the so-called Lithium Triangle made up of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
Among other things, the EU ambassador to Argentina, Amador Sánchez Rico, and the new Argentine representative in Brussels, the diplomat Atilio Berardi, are working on the draft a memorandum of understanding to be signed during von der Leyen’s visit for a strategic association on sustainable raw materials supply chains.
Taking into account the scenario of political and economic uncertainty in this electoral Argentina, everything that is discussed will pass to the next government.
Today there is no mention of the free trade agreement that the two regions have sought without success with obstacles on both sides depending on the moment. There is an agreement of the regions signed at the end of the government of Mauricio Macri, stopped, among others, by France and Ireland and to which environmental and union demands have been added, above all in the context of the clashes between Europeans and the Brazilian Jair Bolsonaro for his policy towards the Amazon. For some it was right an excuse to delay an unpopular deal within its agricultural sector.
Today they are working on a so-called “Additional Protocol” whose text is kept under lock and key and which, according to the parties, is “modern”, is “based on sustainability”, and provides an “adaptation for implementation” of the same if should be signed at the EU-CELAC summit in July.
Charles Arterburn is a seasoned business journalist for News Rebeat, where he provides comprehensive coverage of the latest trends and developments in the world of finance and economics.