Austria rejects EU-Mercosur trade deal over Amazon fires

22 Septembre, 2019, 14:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Austria rejects EU-Mercosur trade deal over Amazon fires

The Austrian legislative branch passed a motion that obliges the Executive to veto the approval of the trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur, but it will be up to those elected on this September 29 next to appear before the European Council to exert the country's veto prerrogative.

Lawmakers on the Austrian parliament's European Union subcommittee on Wednesday nearly unanimously voted to reject the draft free trade agreement, thus obliging their government to veto the pact at European Union level, where all 28 member states and their parliaments must agree to trade deals. Threats to the farming sector are also a consideration for Austrian lawmakers' veto.

Brazil is one of four members of the Mercosur (the others are Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay), all of which have ratified the agreement.

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France said in August it would not support the deal after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro rejected criticism over the Amazon fires. "The agreement would have been bad for our agriculture, but especially bad for climate protection and workers' rights in South America", said Jörg Leichtfried, deputy leader of the centre-left SPÖ. Text of the proposed deal isn't expected to be complete until next year.

"The rain forest is burnt down in South America to create grazing land to then export discount beef to Europe", Koestinger said.

The EU-Mercosur deal is not be the first EU trade agreement to face resistance. The european president, Donald Tusk, warned in August that the ratification of the agreement will be hard, as the large forest fires in the brazilian Amazon to continue.

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