Brazil assumed on December 17 the rotating presidency of MEROSUR for the next six months, following the sequence established in alphabetical order beginning with Argentina[1]. The event took place at the official opening of the MERCOSUR 47th summit in Paraná, in the Argentinian province of Entre Ríos, where Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner transfered the organization’s pro tempore presidency to her Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff[2].

In her speech, the Brazilian president celebrated the recent elections in Brazil and Uruguay, recalling that “this celebration of democracy was unthinkable in South America a few decades ago”[3]. She stated that during Brazil’s mandate, efforts will be directed towards improving the institutional mechanisms of MERCOSUR, advancing the discussions on the future of the customs union, and defining a joint strategy for international insertion. “Brazil will strive in every way so that MERCOSUR continues to advance. I rely, in this endeavor, on the help of everyone”, she stated[4].

According to Dilma Rousseff, common advance within the MERCOSUR is to develop during the Brazilian presidency. Citing a well-known phrase of Uruguayan President José Mujica, she (re)affirmed: “We either stay together or be defeated”[5]. A more efficient cooperation policy within the MEROSUR (a regional organization bringing together Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay and Uruguay) could significantly boost the status of the organization on the international arena and could also lead, at least in the long run, to a significant consolidation of the national power of its member states.

[1] Marli OLMOS, Brasil assume a presidência rotativa do Mercosul”, Valor, January 17, 2014,  at the Internet address

[2] “Argentina hands over MERCOSUR pro tempore presidency to Brazil”, Buenos Aires Herlad, January 17, 2014,  at the Internet address

[3] “Dilma assume presidência do Mercosul nesta quarta-feira”, Portal da Bahía, January 17, 2014,  at the Internet address

[4] Ibidem

[5] Marli OLMOS, op. cit.

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