The External Dimension of MERCOSUR: Prospects for North-South Integration with the European Union

Jan 2003
The paper addresses the particular issues that arise during the negotiation of comprehensive trade and integration agreements, which involve political and cooperation dialogue in addition to trade liberalization talks. It explores the features of the New Regionalism that emerged in the Southern Cone region during the 1990s and in this light it analyzes MERCOSUR's South-South external agenda. Since the negotiation with the EU stands as a laboratory for a new model for North-South integration it provides a detailed analysis of the political and economic incentives for this integration process. The paper concludes by highlighting the prospect of this first-ever reciprocal North-South association between two customs unions. Particular attention is dedicated to the issues raised by the need of involving the civil society in international trade negotiations.