First blow to EU-Mercosur agreement comes from Austria

The Austrian parliament has rejected the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.  

The rejection received widespread support this week in the parliamentary committee which deals with EU affairs and importantly, under Austrian law, the Government is compelled to comply with this decision.

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development committee, welcomed the decision and said: “This move by Austrian parliamentarians is a major win in the battle against the toxic Mercosur deal.  It presents a perfect opportunity for the Irish government to now kill this trade agreement in its tracks.

“Like the Austrian Government, our Taoiseach, has been given an unequivocal message from the Dáil that the Mercosur deal should be vetoed.  That he and his government have refused to convey that position to the European institutions is unacceptable.  To equivocate, as our government have, is an insult to rural communities that realise that the importation into the EU market of an additional annual 99,000 tonnes of Brazilian beef will destroy our family farm model, the lifeblood of our regional economies.

“The Mercosur trade deal offers nothing positive for Ireland.  It is bad for our most important indigenous sector, bad for our overall economy and disastrous for the environment.  It must be rejected.

“The Dáil has already determined it’s position through the adoption of Sinn Féin’s motion of rejection.  The move by Austrian representatives shows that this position has widespread support across the EU.  We should provide progressive leadership on this issue by stating categorially that Ireland will veto this deal and any others that put the interests of multi-national corporations before that of the environment and citizens”.