Flag of Mercosur (Southern Common Market)

Mercosur (Southern Common Market)
  • Acronym: MERCOSUR
  • Type: Trade Bloc
  • Membership: 5 member states, 5 associate members, 2 observer countries
  • Establishment: Established on 26 March 1991
  • Official Language(s): Portuguese, Spanish
  • Headquarters: Montevideo, Uruguay

Mercosur, also known as the Southern Common Market, is a South American trade bloc established by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and Protocol of Ouro Preto in 1994. It’s a major platform for economic integration, trade negotiation, and policy coordination among its member countries, with the primary goal of enabling the free movement of goods, people, and currency.

Mercosur History

Mercosur was founded by the Treaty of Asunción in 1991 and later amended by the Treaty of Ouro Preto in 1994. The bloc was created to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency. Initially formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, Mercosur has expanded to include Venezuela (whose membership is currently suspended) and numerous associate members, becoming a leading economic alliance in Latin America.

Mercosur Structure

The structure of Mercosur is composed of several decision-making bodies, including:

  • The Common Market Council: The highest organ of Mercosur, consisting of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economy (or equivalent) of the member states.
  • The Common Market Group: The executive body of Mercosur, responsible for executing the decisions made by the Common Market Council.
  • The Trade Commission: Focuses on trade policies and ensures the proper functioning of the customs union.
  • The Mercosur Parliament: A representative body aiming to develop a harmonized legislation in the member states.

Mercosur Membership

Membership in Mercosur includes full members, associate members, and observer countries. Full members participate fully in the customs union and the free trade area, while associate members have free trade agreements with the bloc but are not part of the customs union.

Mercosur Objectives

Promoting Free Trade

Mercosur aims to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency among the member states, enhancing economic integration.

Economic Development

The bloc focuses on fostering economic development and competitiveness among its member states by coordinating macroeconomic and sectoral policies.

Social and Cultural Integration

Mercosur also emphasizes the importance of social and cultural integration, encouraging collaboration in educational, scientific, and technological fields.

Mercosur Funding

Mercosur is funded through contributions from its member states, based on an agreed formula that considers the economic size and capacity of each country.

Mercosur Projects

Structural Convergence Fund (FOCEM)

FOCEM aims to finance programs to promote structural convergence, develop competitiveness, promote social cohesion, and support the functioning of the institutional structure of Mercosur.

Mercosur Social and Cultural Integration

Mercosur undertakes various initiatives to promote social and cultural integration among its member states, including educational programs, cultural exchanges, and scientific cooperation.

Mercosur Members

Full Members

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Paraguay (suspended)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela (membership currently suspended)

Associate Members

Observer Countries

Mercosur stands as a prominent figure in South America, driving economic growth, regional integration, and cultural exchange. Through its comprehensive policies and initiatives, Mercosur continues to shape the economic landscape of the region, fostering a collaborative environment that promotes prosperity and development among its member states.

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