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Mercosur: Protocol for Accession of Bolivia Approved

(Aug. 18, 2015) On July 17, 2015, at the Mercosur summit in Brasilia, the member countries, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, signed a new protocol for Bolivia’s accession to the organization (Mercado Común del Sur). A previous accession protocol for Bolivia had already been signed by the other four Member States in 2012, when Paraguay was temporarily suspended from Mercosur because of a coup against its former president Fernando Lugo. (Bolivia Firma Protocolo de Adhesión al Mercosur, EL DÍA (July 17, 2015).)

The parliaments of Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela have already approved Bolivia as a member country without any need for further ratification. In Brazil and Paraguay, the decision requires ratification by the legislature. Therefore, Bolivia’s full membership will become effective once the ratification process is complete. Bolivia currently holds the status of associate country in the process of acceding to the bloc. The protocol defines the different stages and commitments needed to reach the full incorporation of Bolivia in Mercosur. (Id.)

At the ceremony, two new protocols were signed by Guyana and Suriname for their accession to Mercosur as associate members. (Id.)