Q : Spain asked the European Commission to try and accelerate the unblocking of the EU-Mercosur agreement. France set very strict conditions for giving it the green light. Do the conditions exist to move forward? Is it possible to reach a compromise, and within what time frame?
A : France has repeatedly expressed its position on the EU-Mercosur draft agreement: it cannot support the draft as it currently stands because it does not offer sufficient guarantees on the fight against imported deforestation and the fight against climate change in line with the collective goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
We share these environmental concerns with several EU member states. We have made additional demands and we want to obtain tangible, quantifiable guarantees from the Mercosur countries, especially on the fight against deforestation, compliance with the commitments taken under the Paris Climate Agreement and compliance with EU health and environmental standards. These concerns are also shared by other EU member states.
We are continuing to work with the European Commission and our European partners on the responses to be given to these concerns. This is a matter of consistency between our trade policy and our environmental and climate commitments.
Minister Delegate Franck Riester will express France’s position at the next Foreign Affairs (Trade) Council on May 20.