The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/26ue-mercosur/
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Jean Asselborn: " The EU considers it a priority to carry the negotiations on an association agreement to a successful conclusion"
After the EU-Mercosur ministerial meeting, held in Luxembourg on 26 May 2005, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and current President of the Council of the European Union, declared:
"Together with Leila Rachid De Cowles, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, and my colleague Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the European Commissioner, I have had the great honour to co-preside the meeting attended by all the Member States of the EU and the candidate countries, Romania and Bulgaria.
I am pleased to say that Mercosur and the European Union enjoy very intense relations, which the two parties would like to broaden through the association agreement currently under negotiation.
We have thus had a very fruitful exchange of views on the state of the relationship between the European Union and Mercosur, and we have conducted a political assessment of the negotiations of the association agreement between the the EU and Mercosur. The European Union has reiterated the importance that it attaches from the political and strategic point of view to an overall agreement with Mercosur, since it will also involve a very substantial chapter on the political dialogue between the two regions.
In this context, I should like to mention the commitment of the Mercosur countries to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which has been warmly welcomed by the EU, as has the active participation of Argentina in the ALTHEA operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
We have also addressed the progress made with the regional integration of our respective regional groups and have discussed the regional and international situation. Indeed, both the European Union and Mercosur are determined to move towards a more solid and more participatory international community on the basis of effective multilateralism, at the heart of which would be the United Nations.
Since the creation of Mercosur, the European Union has made a considerable effort to support its process of integration and fully intends to continue to support this process unstintingly, not only because of its enormous economic and commercial potential, but also to promote the stability of the South American continent. Therefore, the European Union considers it a priority to carry the negotiations on an association agreement to a successful conclusion.
We have decided to reinforce the political dialogue by close consultation on the bi-regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest."