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Wed. June 19, 2019
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Around the World, Across the Political Spectrum

Roundtable Forum - UNASUR

IA-Forum asked five leading commentators on South America "Does the UNASUR have the potential to create a legal and economic union in South America comparable with the EU?"

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Sarah Anderson, Institute for Policy Studies

Response: A key question for South American nations is whether they will be able to build the same spirit of economic and social solidarity that has been critical to the development of the European Union.

In contrast to the neoliberal or “free market” policies that most Latin American countries have been pursuing for nearly 30 years, the European Union took proactive steps to reduce disparities betwee... more

Laura Carlsen, Center for International Policy

Response: Since efforts at unification began, meetings of the South American countries involved have been a lot like most people’s family reunions--there’s undeniably a bond there but squabbles invariably arise to obscure it.

The first are the much-publicized skirmishes between nations. Trade controversies between Argentina and Brazil, the conflict over the paper plant on the river that separates Uruguay... more

Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Cato Institute

Response: That goal is neither feasible nor desirable. It is not feasible since South America is currently marred by deep political and ideological divisions between those governments that espouse the principles of liberal market democracies and those that have adopted populist and autocratic policies under the name of “21st century socialism.” Those divisions have been manifest within the Andean Community,... more

Francisco Panizza, London School of Economics

Response: To transform UNASUR into a regional version of the EU requires shared political and economic visions, the institutions to transform these visions into legally binding and politically legitimate rules and, last but not least, leadership to drive the process forward. None of these elements appear to be in great supply at the moment.

Politically, it was sought that the “pink tide” of left of cent... more

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