French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday that Paris will maintain its opposition to the trade agreement agreed between the European Union and Mercosur when his country takes over the rotating EU presidency in early 2022.
The French president's opposition comes mainly from a desire to protect the climate and biodiversity.
"France is against [the] Mercosur [readl] as it is negotiated today and we will continue to be very clearly. Not because we are not comfortable with our Mercosur friends but because by definition, this agreement, as it has been conceived and designed, cannot be compatible with our climate and biodiversity agenda," he said at the World Conservation Congress (IUCN) in Marseille.
"We must reinvent our trade policies so that they are consistent with our climate policies, with our biodiversity policies, it is a necessity," he added.
Concluded in June 2019 after 20 years of on-off negotiations, the free-trade agreement with the four Mercosur countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) has provoked a wave of criticism in Europe, especially from the agricultural sector and environmentalists.
It was negotiated by the European Commission on behalf of the EU countries, but the treaty will not be definitively ratified until the parliaments of all EU member states have approved it.
Some countries, such as France and Germany, have been reluctant to follow through with the deal and question Brazil's commitment to the environment in particular, especially with the increase in fires in the Amazon.