The European Union's policy towards Mercosur

Responsive not strategic

By Arantza Gomez Arana

The European Union's policy towards Mercosur

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9694-5
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: February 2017
  • BIC Category: Politics & government, International relations, Europe, Caribbean islands, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Comparative Politics, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Caribbean & Latin American, POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / European, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Society & social sciences / International relations, South & Central America (including Mexico), Latin America, EU (European Union)
  • Series: European Politics


This book provides a distinctive and empirically rich account of the European Union's relationship with the Common Market of the South (Mercosur). It seeks to examine the motivations that determine the EU's policy towards Mercosur; the most important relationship the EU has with another regional economic integration organization.

In order to investigate these motivations (or lack thereof), this study examines the contribution of the main policy- and decision-makers, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers, as well as the different contributions of the two institutions. It analyses the development of EU policy towards Mercosur in relation to three key stages.

Arana argues that the dominant explanations in the literature fail to adequately explain the EU's policy, in particular, these accounts tend to infer the EU's motives from its activity. Rather than the EU pursuing a strategy, as implied by most of the existing literature, the EU was largely responsive, which explains why the relationship is much less developed than the EU's relations with other parts of the world.


1 Introduction: the study of European Union relations with Mercosur
2 Analytical framework: relations between the European Union and Mercosur
3 European Union policy-making towards Mercosur
4 Non-institutionalized relations between the EU and Mercosur
5 The most productive years of EU-Mercosur relations
6 The first attempt to negotiate the association agreement
7 The second attempt to negotiate the association agreement
8 Lessons to be learned from EU policy towards Mercosur


Arantza Gomez Arana is Lecturer in Security and Criminology at Birmingham City University

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