The Foreign Ministers of the four founding members of Mercosur – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – approved, on this September 13, 2016, the "Declaration on the Functioning of Mercosur and the Protocol of Accession of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela"
The Declaration was adopted due to Venezuela's non-compliance with the commitments adopted on the Protocol of Accession to Mercosur, signed in Caracas in 2006, especially regarding the incorporation of norms and agreements in force in Mercosur into the legal framework of Venezuela.
The deadline for Venezuela to comply with this obligation expired on August 12, 2016, and among the important agreements and norms which were not incorporated into the national legislation of Venezuela are the Economic Complementation Agreement No. 18 (1991), the Protocol of Asuncion on the Commitment to the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights of Mercosur (2005) and the Agreement on Residence for Nationals of the States Parties of Mercosur (2002).
The Declaration establishes that the Presidency of Mercosur on the current term does not pass on to Venezuela; it will rather be exercised through coordination among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, which will be able to define courses of action and adopt the necessary decisions in economic, trade and other essential fields to the functioning of Mercosur. The same will occur on trade negotiations with third countries or country blocs.
On December 1, 2016, if non-compliance with obligations persists, Venezuela will be suspended from Mercosur.
The Declaration was adopted in the spirit of preservation and strengthening of Mercosur, in order to ensure that there is no continuity solution on the functioning of the bodies and the integration, cooperation and coordination mechanisms of the bloc.
Minister of Foreign Affairs