EUROPEAN UNION AND MERCOSUR: REGIONALISM AND COOPERATIVES

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1 EUROPEAN UNION AND MERCOSUR: REGIONALISM AND COOPERATIVES Prof Claudia Sanchez Bajo, PhD Governance Innovation Week, University of Pretoria, 4 May

2 Introduction Institutional and policy framework on cooperatives in regionalism in Mercosur and the European Union Institutional participation of cooperatives in regionalism Perceptions of cooperatives roles in building regionalism and governance 2

3 Mercosur 1991 by Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay: Treaty of Asuncion Venezuela signed agreement difficulties 3

4 Current Stage: customs union Free trade among member states Elimination of Custom Rights Common External Tariffs Want to become a World Economic Power 4

5 Mercosur s New regionalism Renegotiaton of Debt Signed a host of bilateral agreements Supply of Oil Banco del SUR (2009) Investment bank Different treatment to smaller countries according to levels of development (eg Paraguay and Uruguay) 5

6 Broader context UNASUR Union of South American Nations Signed by Mercosur members Originally signed in 2004 Alba Pacific Alliance MERCOSUR against FTAA 6

7 7

8 8

9 RECM Specialized institution composed of cooperatives representative associations and government representatives of Mercosur regulating co-operatives 9

10 RECM is one of the specialized entities under the authority of the Common Market Group that has executive powers and falls second in powers within the overall Mercosur architecture. 10

11 Country Number of Cooperatives Number of cooperative members Argentina Brazil OCB SENAES UNICAFES Paraguay Uruguay Chile Venezuela

12 Normative UE 1 First standards for cooperatives in the history of European regionalism, under the responsibility of DG Enterprise: Statute for the European Cooperative Society Communication from the Commission on the Promotion of Cooperatives (ILO Recommendation 193 to 2002) 2014 TOIA Report on Cooperatives contribution to the EU (EU Parliament) 12

13 Normative UE 3 Since 2003, tension between the Commission and the cooperative organizations: examples statistics, observatory, corporate governance, accounting standards, networks and clusters, services of general interest, worker buyouts 13

14 Normative Mercosur 1 Intergovernmental decisions - consensus Working agenda autonomy Regional standards 2006 Cooperative Statute Organized study trips to EU institutions Books, research Conference with Euro-parl. and Mercosur Parliamentarians in Montevideo on accounting norms 14

15 Participation in regionalism in the EU and Mercosur : comparison Advisory bodies : type of participation Regulation : type of role institutional building Connections with South Africa: type of cooperation 15

16 Instrumental values : family needs and solutions as possible complement to structural reforms Search for public policy solutions through external lobby supported by cooperative associations Marginal presence at the moment Poorly defined "social enterprise" model UE / MERCOSUR perception of cooperatives 2 Ethical and moral values : systemic solutions to poverty Finding solutions through mainstreaming in public policy Current presence is spreading rapidly as a model of accumulation and of socio-economic change. Supported by social movements 16

17 UE / MERCOSUR perception of cooperatives in regional governance 3 Some support from trade unions and others (Italy is a case of good cooperation) No recent mobilizations in the streets of cooperativists With significant support from unions and others (eg university). Again. Recent major mobilizations cooperative members and supporters in the street in MERCOSUR 17

18 UE / MERCOSUR perception of cooperatives in regional governance 4 Economic model that still ensures the reproduction of society while structural reforms start credit is hard to get Social economy under attack Economic model no longer provides the reproduction of society, after structural reforms accessible credit Social and solidarity economy growing 18

19 Social and Solidarity Economy From Brazil in 2001, then Mercosur and worldwide, it reached the UN agenda in 2013 Solidarity Economy became worldwide know after the World Social Forum in Brazil in 2001, where cooperatives had a high profile 19

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