The creation of a Forum of Progressive Parties of the Southern Cone was the outcome of one of the various meetings that took place parallel to the inauguration of President Tabaré Vázquez, in the Uruguayan capital. The chief purpose of the Forum should be the establishment of the Mercosur Parliament by 2006.

    “In order for it not to be a hollow shell, it will depend upon the region’s political forces. The question is whether the Parliament is really going to play a role or will it just be icing on the cake,” Reiner Radermacher told the Agência Brasil today.


    Radermacher is the representative in Brazil of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and organized the meeting that resulted in the creation of the Forum.


    The decision to create the forum was made by representatives of ten parties from five countries in the region (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Paraguay), during the seminar “The Roads to South American Integration – A Progressive Perspective.”


    The event began Sunday (February 27) and ended yesterday. Various Brazilian Workers’ Party representatives, such as José Genoí­no, president of the party, attended. Besides the parties, representatives of central unions from these countries were also present.


    The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is maintained by the German Social Democratic Party, the SPD. Radermacher emphasized that the fact that the debate received European support “does not mean that the European Union (EU) be taken as a model.”


    He recalls that in the EU itself, it was only recently that the Parliament “became empowered” to the point where, in 2004, it rejected the team proposed by Durão Barroso, from Portugal, to make up the European Commission.


    Translation: David Silberstein
    Agência Brasil

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