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  Félix Peña

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Some methodological shortcomings that affect the quality of its trajectory

by Félix Peña
January 2019

English translation: Isabel Romero Carranza


More than an existential crisis, Mercosur evinces serious difficulties related to the methodologies that have been used to advance its construction.

At the beginning of 2019 and after the inauguration of the government period of the new President of Brazil, it is timely to highlight some issues that are critical for modernizing Mercosur and for restoring an acceptable degree of credibility and effectiveness to it.

The first issue refers to the methodologies used for opening the markets and their ensuing impact on international trade negotiations. The second refers to the institutional methodology applied for the adoption of joint decisions, which also affect the development of the agenda of trade negotiations with other countries. And the third question refers to the methodology employed to ensure that the integration process is based and, therefore, guided by common ground rules.

Certainly, there are other important issues that would need to be addressed. However, the three mentioned above are those that, after almost thirty years of developing Mercosur, seem most relevant to keep in mind, especially in the conversations at the highest political level among the member countries.

Moreover, an intense approach would also be required in other relevant spheres, such as those of the institutions that represent the diverse social interests -particularly businesses- and of the specialists who can contribute with their ideas to guide the actions promoted by the political and social protagonists of the member countries.

Diseño y producción: Rodrigo Silvosa