This monograph seeks to examine the motivations for the European Union’s (EU) policy towards the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), the EU’s most important relationship with another regional economic integration organisation. This monograph argues that the dominant explanations in the literature -- balancing the US, global aspirations, being an external federator, long-standing economic and cultural ties, economic interdependence, and the Europeanization of Spanish and Portuguese national foreign policies – fail to adequately explain the EU’s policy. In particular, these accounts tend to infer the EU’s motives from its activity. Drawing extensive primary documents, this monograph argues that the major developments in the relationship -- the 1992 Inter-institutional Agreement and the 1995 Europe Mercosur Inter-regional Framework Cooperation Agreement – were initiated by Mercosur and supported mainly by Spain. This means that rather than the EU pursuing a strategy, as implied by most of the existing literature, the EU was largely responsive.
The study of European Union relations with Mercosur
Arantza Gomez Arana
Mercosur. In this study, each of these
factors are considered at each of the three stages of EU policy development
in order to understand to what extent they could offer a satisfactory
explanation for the development of EU–Mercosur policy.
Beyond providing a distinctive and empirically rich account of the EU’s
relationship with Mercosur, this monograph contributes to the literature on
the EU as a global player, particularly the extent to which it is a strategicactor, and to the literature on the Europeanization of national foreign policies of member states from a bottom
This monograph finds considerable evidence of how the EU has been a
responsive actor to Mercosur demands at the different stages of the relations
instead of being a strategicactor that has initiated EU–Mercosur relations.
This argument also corresponds with the work of Jorg Monar (1997), who
suggests that third parties are the actors who have sought to upgrade
EU–Mercosur policies. It also shows how the Iberian membership created
a crucial juncture in the development of EU relations towards the region.
Finally, this analysis also implies that the EU is far
interacted with Mercosur by adopting a ‘hub and spoke’ tactic, trying to develop
agreements with regions in a weaker position to gain influence in the region
as a whole since the EU will be the one setting the agenda. All the authors
mentioned above who advanced this argument take for granted the notion
that the EU is a strategicactor. This argument will be critically examined
in more detail in the following chapters.
Another set of scholars cite the affinity between the EU and Latin America
as the main reason for both the development of relations and for the two
meant is not something the researcher can know
since we do not have access to meaning outside language. We therefore stay
at the ‘surface’ of the text and pay attention to the narrative
structures and vocabulary in the text. Tactical/rhetorical use of language
is certainly seen as important within discourse analysis. It is, however,
constrained by the discourses in which the strategicactors are embedded
‘an EU whose
vision of peace is matched by its vision of prosperity; a civilised
continent united in defeating brutality and violence; a continent joined in
its belief in social justice. A superpower but not a superstate.’
The convergence of views is in fact taking place because the
traditional French meaning of the concept is also changing. The development
of Europe as a strategicactor concerns the capability ( pouvoir ) to
interviewee understood that New Year’s Eve
always created a precarious experience, and made her decision “in the light [of] one’s
thoughts about the others’ thoughts about oneself ” (Goffman 1969, 101). In this
respect, she can be viewed as a strategicactor aspiring to exercise control over the
impression management they convey to others. Hiring a boyfriend enables her to
create the right kind of image for her audience—in this case her parents. Being single
demands a carefully planned performance.
The wide reportage of this new commodity strikes a chord. Amongst other
The organisation of war-escalation in the Krajina region of Croatia 1990–91
analysis of this fear leading to the national mobilisation
reveals that it did not necessary correspond to a real threat. Rather it represented
a reaction to perceptions of threat as an interpretation of reality not necessarily
closely linked to external ‘objectiﬁable’ criteria (Nicklas 1991).
In this setting it is absolutely necessary ﬁrst to point out the most important
initiatives of those strategicactors and their clients, who were the main driving
forces of the threat messages. These people can be called ‘ethnic’ or ‘national’
entrepreneurs (see Bailey 1970: 44
part of the EU. Since the EU and Mercosur signed their first
agreement a year after their first official meeting, this does show a good
level of EU commitment. The fact that the EU is the one receiving offers
from Mercosur and developing the relationship based on these offers does
not help the image of the EU as a strategicactor.
This section discusses EU–Mercosur relations at this stage, focusing on
agreements that were made and any evident problems associated with them.
It explains the causes of the agreements, showing the extent to which