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ZEI Discussion Paper C 209/2012

Patricia Luíza Kegel/Mohamed Amal: MERCOSUR and its Current Relationship to the European Union. Prospects and Challenges in a Changing World

ZEI Discussion Paper C 209/2012

After 12 years of negotiations in order to conclude a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and MERCOSUR, the global financial crisis has imposed new conditions on their strategic alliance. The purpose of this ZEI Discussion Paper is to measure the impact of changing global patterns of trade and Foreign Direct Investment on the relations between the EU and MERCOSUR. This will be done while addressing the new factors influencing negotiations, with particular emphasis on Brazil's new role as an agent of dynamic change in MERCOSUR’s positioning on the international scene, as well as the shift of economic power toward Southeast Asia and other emerging economies. The main conclusion of this ZEI Discussion Paper points out that in both regional integration blocs, change leading to an efficient negotiation process means not only a change in trade negotiation positions but, above all, a shift in the political perception of strategic relationships allowing for the consolidation of common interests and views in a changing world.

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