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In the context of the XXII Bi-Regional Negotiations Committee (BNC), delegations from MERCOSUR and the European Union held working meetings from July 4 to July 8, 2011, for the negotiation of a future Bi-Regional Association Agreement between both regions.

Chief Negotiators of both sides reaffirmed their commitment to move negotiations forward to reach a comprehensive, balanced and ambitious Association Agreement. Negotiations were held in the Political, Cooperation and Trade pillars of the Agreement.

With regard to the Political and Cooperation Pillars, progress was achieved in a number of areas and there was fruitful exchange of views on many issues, which contributed to a better understanding of each others' positions.

With regard to the Trade Pillar eleven Working Groups held meetings during the XXII BNC and achieved considerable progress in the regulatory texts of the Bi-Regional Agreement, notably in the areas of Services-Investment and Dispute Settlement. All chapters were also reviewed at the level of chief negotiators with directions being given on the relevant pending issues. The issue of Sustainable Development was also discussed.

Finally, it was decided that the next rounds of negotiations in the framework of the BNC will be held this year in Montevideo, Uruguay from 7 to 11 November 2011 and in Brussels, Belgium in the first quarter of 2012.

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