European Parliament Votes Against Mercosur Deal

IFA President Tim Cullinan has welcomed the vote in the European Parliament that ’emphasises that the EU-Mercosur agreement cannot be ratified as it stands’.

The vote – 345 to 295 – is the latest statement of opposition to a deal that fails the test of meeting EU standards.

At a recent informal EU Farm Council meeting, the German Agriculture Minister Julia Klockner, who chairs the Farm Council, said she was sceptical if the Mercosur agreement could be ratified in its current format.

Since then, a report from University of Oxford and the Nature Conservancy says the deal fails the sustainability test and should be abandoned.

“The Commission was explicit that Mercosur could not go ahead if Brazil failed to meet environmental standards,” he said.

The report states ‘the proposed EU-Mercosur agreement puts the EU’s own social and environmental sustainability goals at risk. For example, the proposed EU-Mercosur agreement as it currently stands is in direct contradiction to the sustainable food production and initiatives proposed for European farmers in the European Green Deal’.

IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said in June, the Dutch Parliament asked their Government to notify the European Commission that Netherlands withdraws its support for the Mercosur agreement, citing an increase in unfair competition for European farmers and a lack of enforceable agreements on protection of the Amazon or prevention of illegal deforestation.

Last month, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar indicated that he will not be bringing the Mercosur agreement for ratification to the Dáil this year, or for the foreseeable future.

It would be deeply hypocritical of the EU Commission to pursue a trade deal that so clearly conflicts with their own policy,

“Commission President Ursula von der Leyen cannot stand over this deal and should send a clear signal that the EU will not do business with Brazil when it continues to flout the law,” he said.

Brendan Golden said beef farmers in Ireland are facing huge uncertainty with Brexit fast approaching. It’s critical Irish beef is not undermined in the market place by inferior products that do not meet the high cost production standards Irish and EU farmers implement.

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