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Diplomacy and Statecraft, 18: 805–830, 2007

Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN 0959-2296 print/1557-301X online
DOI: 10.1080/09592290701807267

1557-301X and Statecraft
Diplomacy Statecraft, Vol. 18, No. 4, November 2007: pp. 1–38


Gian Luca Gardini
Who Luca
Gian Invented

This article explores the genesis of the Common Market of the South
(Mercosur), the regional integration scheme grouping Argentina, Brazil,
Paraguay and Uruguay since 1991, and which Venezuela joined in 2006.
The aim is to portray an accurate account of the diplomatic history of the
foundation of Mercosur during the years 1989–1991. Methodologically, a
case is made in favour of the use of oral history in the study of high politics.
Argentina and Brazil’s reading of the new international circumstances of
the early 1990s are explored, and so are their respective international
insertion strategies. The diplomatic negotiations leading to the 1991
Treaty of Asunción constitutive of Mercosur are dissected. The relation-
ship between Mercosur and the so-called ACE-14 agreement concluded by
Argentina and Brazil in the framework of the Latin American Integra-
tion Association is also illustrated, as are the negotiations to incorporate
new members to the incipient common market. The final section suggests
that, while there was an overall continuity in the integration project in
the Southern Cone between 1985 and 1991, nonetheless Mercosur was a
departure from previous objectives, timing and methodology. For good or
ill, Mercosur was the creation of the neo-liberal governments of Presi-
dents Menem of Argentina and Collor of Brazil and the result of broader
changes at the international level.

Much of the scholarly research on the Common Market of the South
(Mercosur), the regional integration scheme grouping Argentina, Brazil,
Paraguay, Uruguay and, since 2006, Venezuela, has targeted the years
following its constitution in 1991. Also, a large part of these works have
adopted a political economy perspective and focus.1
The diplomatic history of Mercosur and its origins remains a relatively
under-explored dimension of the integration process in the South American
Cone. Only a few accounts of the diplomatic history of the foundation of
Mercosur exist in English and they are quite dated.2 Most of them are con-
cise articles concerned more with general trends and themes than with diplo-
matic history and analytical assessment of facts and circumstances; the few
books on the topic mainly come from Argentina and Brazil and are not trans-
lated into English.3 This article is intended as a contribution to fill this gap.

806 Gian Luca Gardini

The historical coverage of this piece is extremely focused and deliberately
self-confined, comprising the years from 1989 to 1991. The choice of
such a short time frame is based on one key reason: substantial negotia-
tions for the creation of a common market in the Southern Cone were not
launched until 1990 and the treaty establishing Mercosur was concluded
in 1991. Argentina and Brazil had initiated their diplomatic rapprochement
back in 1979 under military rule in both countries. Upon return to democracy
in the mid-1980s, Argentina and Brazil announced their commitment to
integration in 1985 and formalised it in 1986 with the signature of the
bilateral Programme of Economic Cooperation and Integration (PICE),
characterised by a gradual, selective, and negotiated reduction of barriers
to trade in specific sectors of their respective economies. In 1988, the two
countries reinforced their integrationist commitment with the signature of
the Treaty of Integration, Cooperation and Development, but until this
stage the integrationist exercise did not go beyond a bilateral free
trade area.
A clear boundary has to be set between Mercosur as such and the nego-
tiations leading to its very foundation on the one hand, and a variety of
precedents and preparatory events on the other. The 1988 Argentine–
Brazilian Treaty of Integration, Cooperation and Development, for the
first time explicitly set the achievement of a common market as the final
goal of the bilateral integration project. However this objective was at that
time a mere aspiration. This is evident from the wording of the treaty as
well as from the testimony of those who personally contributed to its
drafting and conclusion.4
The first democratic administrations of President Alfonsín in Argentina
(1983–1989) and President Sarney in Brazil (1985–1990) did not achieve
a common market, they did not have either a design for its institutional
structure and tasks or a concrete plan for its implementation.5 The legacy
of the first democratic governments to their successors was the idea and
will to pursue a common market, so while the issue was certainly already
on the agenda in 1988, its elaboration, transposition into policy and legal
commitment, and at last its implementation are to be sought at a later
stage. No other significant agreement was concluded between Argentina
and Brazil under the Alfonsín and Sarney governments. Consequently, it
seems to make sense to start this investigation about who actually
invented Mercosur with the period of impasse that followed the 1988
treaty and the 1989 first change of government in Argentina.
The flow of arguments unfolds as follows. First, the changes in the
international scenario of the early 1990s and the new international insertion
strategies of Argentina and Brazil are examined. Then the diplomatic
history of Argentine–Brazilian relations leading to the creation of an
initially bilateral common market is explored. The negotiations for

However. entrepreneurs. All the interviews have been carefully cross-checked with one another and tested against written diplomatic documents. certain political situations are not merely illustrations of general patterns but genuinely singular events. On a methodological note. This research started from historical observation. The concluding section argues that it is essentially the Menem and Collor administrations that have to be credited. consequently. theory infrequently assumes the form of general propositions about state behaviour or international politics but is more humble and confines itself to the explanatory exercise of specific and limited. both written and oral. and therefore reliability are very significant. and not from a predeter- mined theory or hypothesis to be tested on a case study. In such cases. Oral History is applied to the history of elites. Following this approach. here. and academics. history itself is the primary material for the social sciences. or blamed depending on the reader’s perspective. where available. Third. Intensive research was conducted in archives in Brazil and Argentina. the quality. which have themselves a history and emerge within a defined historical context. diplomats. this work adopts a historical approach to the study of international relations. journalistic reports of the time. empirical and theoretical analyses are synergic. and is used as an instrument to investigate behind the curtains of a major historical and political process in the South American Cone. Over sixty interviews were conducted with key Argentine and Brazilian politicians. Oral History is a very useful comple- ment to written material. history may not be sufficient to understand international relations but cannot be overlooked for at least four reasons. and. has itself been considered a marginal method to explore high politics and diplomacy. As Hedley Bull observed. geographically or temporally.6 First.Who Invented Mercosur? 807 enlargement to neighbouring countries and the finalisation of the Asunción Treaty follow. Oral History has often been used to discover the stories of those neglected by grand History. the research method for this article largely relies upon fresh primary material. In a historical approach. for the emergence of Mercosur as shaped in its 1991 foundational treaty of Asunción. The relation between Mercosur and the so called ACE-14 agreement consolidating the several evolutions of the Argentine–Brazilian commitment will be spelled out. and secondary sources. and then tried to make sense of it. Consistency. techniques and canons of judgement of diplomatic history as a discipline are often less obscure and controversial than those of theoretical studies. . any international situation is located in time and to understand it the scholar must place it within a sequence of events. By contrast. but historical verification is the prior basis for any speculation and theorising. events and circumstances. In historical methodology. only limited written primary sources on the early steps towards Mercosur exist or are disclosed to the public. Second. Fourth.

In a climate of economic expansion. The EEC was marching determinedly towards the consolidation of the internal market and Canada and the United States had concluded their bilateral free trade agreement in 1987. other regional undertakings overshadowed the Argentine–Brazilian enter- prise. integration in the Southern Cone was actually launched. The initial enthusiasm was vanishing and expectations of gains from integration had grown. and open markets. Internationally. probably disproportionately. The sectoral approach. but was now obstructing further progress. apart from the European Economic Community (EEC). and the Argentine–Brazilian scheme. and so had disillusionment. was not particularly favourable to such an under- taking. the positive impact of restored democracy conferred great prestige and legitimacy upon the presidents and their governments. Last but not least. when integration was implemented. Neither the Alfonsín nor the Sarney administration could count any more on the sort of unconditional support that derived from democratic legitimacy alone. including investment flows. However. compete. with its enlarged market.808 Gian Luca Gardini STALEMATE IN INTEGRATION AND THE CHANGE IN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES When the Argentine–Brazilian bilateral integration project was first debated in the mid-1980s. The worsening economic situation directly affected integration. both countries were enjoying the first positive effects of their respective stabilization plans. the economic record remained poor. Furthermore. protection- ist attitudes prevail. Economically. which reduced inflation and facilitated economic recovery in the short run. Inability to tackle economic and social problems debilitated the Presidents and their coalitions. Finally. followed political sympathy. Most importantly. all these favourable factors had been exhausted. under a conjunction of improved and relatively more stable political and economic conditions. the macroeconomic frame. in a climate of economic depression. at the international and the national level. at the domestic level. with its corollaries of gradualness and flexibility.8 Its very approach was questioned and some of its creators left to take up different positions. on the contrary. the PICE itself was showing clear signals of tiredness. attracted potential investors.7 Politically. and proliferated from 1986 onwards. at that time the world did not offer many examples of structured regional integration. By late 1988 and early 1989. re-democratisation attracted international attention to the area. and economic support. had favoured the initial smooth implementation. entrepreneurs are more keen to invest. . Strong political will and determination went some way to overcome objective difficulties. in 1986.

stagnation and dreadful . capital flight. The United States. The new international agenda prioritised those countries setting up democracy in other parts of the world and neglected those that had already done so yet still needed support for consolidation. On the domestic front. appeared to emerge as the over- whelmingly dominant model throughout the world. The end of the Cold War robbed military regimes committed to fighting leftist subversion of any meaning and sapped support for them. there was the fear that the PICE would be left to one side as part of a rejection of the previous administrations’ policies. Paraguay and Chile. which were instead heavily diverted to countries where market economy had to be built from scratch. In Argentina. At the official level. The consequences for Latin America were of unexpected magnitude. On the economic side. In 1989. Little was known about the opposition’s intentions for integration. ironically. The general political. the prominent features of the interna- tional system dramatically changed and so did the prospects for and the features of the integration project in the Southern Cone. which had already been sensed by Argentine and Brazilian elites as a reason for integration. displayed its full features and effects from the beginning of the 1990s. debt. The international agenda concentrated heavily on the spread of democracy and market economics. reacquired democracy had been the main political capital of the area. but. However. the Peronist party’s rhetoric on Latin American integration was not a sufficient guarantee of commitment at the practical level. The attention of the international community shifted away from the continent.Who Invented Mercosur? 809 Political concern for the future of bilateral integration was amplified by the forthcoming presidential elections of 1989 in both countries. By the beginning of the 1990s. Major political changes had important repercussions in the economic realm too. towards the end of the decade. The spectre of a division of world trade in cohesive regional blocs and the virtual paralysis of GATT by 1990 gave reasons for further concern to Latin American leaders. The fall of the Berlin wall and the break-up of Soviet power terminated the “long peace”9 bipolarity had assured after World War Two. economic and social climate was unfavourable to the incumbent administrations. Since the mid-1980s. recovered democratic status. this became almost counterpro- ductive. this wave of democratisation did not rescue South America as a whole from a curious paradox. and its political and economic system. In Brazil. things were no better. the two last remaining authoritarian regimes in South America. competition for nominations had not pro- duced a strong candidate yet. which risked international marginalization.10 Globalisation. Latin American efforts to stabilise and gradually open their economies were failing to attract international investments.

12 The electoral disaster of the incumbent coalition was due to its . tax reform. services and capital. and secure property rights. while they adapted their strategies and programmes to the changing inter- national order.810 Gian Luca Gardini hyperinflation completed the gloomy picture of Argentina and Brazil’s economy. Weaker countries especially saw the regional space as a compromise between closed economy and complete unilateral opening. Nothing was said about the right mix of these measures or their timing and intensity. neither came to power as a result of it nor were they empowered with a clear electoral mandate to drive their respective countries towards the neo-liberal paradigm. The new international logics informed and transformed. trade liberalisation. it had appeared clear that Menem was the favourite candidate to succeed Alfonsín. though at a different pace. both at the international and the national levels. the North American economist John Williamson illustrated a set of economic principles defining the lowest common denominator of policy advice being addressed by the Washington-based institutions to Latin American countries. competitive exchange rates. the Argentine and Brazilian economic models. during a conference organised by the US Institute for International Economics. solutions tended to take this direction. deregulation of barriers to entry and exit. however.11 The implementation of the Washington consensus and its model of an open economy. In 1990. and later Williamson claimed his study had been distorted and misused. As the North American model of open market economy was the dominant paradigm. Since mid-1988. In a context of increasingly free circulation of goods. entailed a rethinking of regional grouping models too. privatisation. Both central and peripheral countries saw a growing convenience in the formation of regional blocs as instruments to face global challenges. interest rate liberalisation. The original formulation included fiscal discipline. elimi- nation of restrictions to foreign direct investment. redirection of public expenditure priorities. The newly elected administrations in Argentina and Brazil have often been identified with neo-liberal adjustment and proximity to US positions. Hence the phrase Washington consensus. His election was no surprise to anyone. development and wealth had to be pursued through competitive insertion in the international trade system and not through artificial protection from it. Such was the situation in the early 1990s that drastic remedies were to be found at the international and the national levels. THE ARGENTINE PERSPECTIVE AND INTERNATIONAL INSERTION STRATEGY Carlos Menem was elected President of Argentina in May 1989 and took office in July.

Attracted by this deep but still unstructured re-thinking of Argentine politics. the international context had been characterised by the recrudescence of the Cold War. coupled with a strong realist stance towards the world. economists. the Central American conflict. and external debt was being rescheduled in multilateral forums. in such a different context. The intention of translating theorising into practice led to the circle being characterised as an “epistemic commu- nity. the debt crisis. Yet as soon as he took office.15 to raise the minimum salary and to stick to the traditional foreign policy of justicialismo.17 When this salience of economic issues. Yet globalisation.”14 During the electoral campaign. essentially in economic terms. his image was still that of an “emblematic leader of Peronist populism. strategically irrelevant to the centre.”18 The reasoning was that Argentina was a geographically peripheral country. and. Also. including foreign policy. a community of intellectuals. Great Britain. academics. diplomats and politicians gathered around the menemista circle. Menem appointed Bunge y Born corporation managers to run the economy. and in particular to halt hyperin- flation. economic concerns monop- olised debate.16 When Alfonsín took office. the Menem administration defined Argentine national interest. while the internal agenda had been dominated by the quest for public liberties and human rights as well as by economic issues. chose consultants from entre- preneurial associations for public posts and concluded alliances with the liberal right. The Alfonsín administration had read all these international and national factors as a threat to political stability and made the protection and consolidation of democracy the central objective of its action. The most serious threat to democracy moved from the military to the economic realm. Import-substitution industrialisation was . he had promised to pursue a revolución productiva. a peculiar theoretical and practical synthesis emerged. internally. the country had expe- rienced its golden age in a privileged relationship with the dominant power of the time. and the preva- lence of authoritarian governments in South America. They started a critical analysis of Argentine history in order to make sense of the country’s present situation and design policy guidelines to return Argentina to a pri- mary status at the world level. characterised by autonomy and commitment to the non-aligned move- ment. the crisis in Central America was largely solved.13 When Menem took office. What immediately became clear was the strong emphasis the Menem administration put on economic issues. and its foreign policy priority. the Cold War was coming to an end with a clear winner. economic opening and neo-liberal policies were neither on the electoral agenda nor in Menem’s electoral platform. When Menem took over. encountered the big international changes of 1989 and 1990.Who Invented Mercosur? 811 inability to manage the economic crisis.

there was a strong coincidence between the internal and external agendas. and the relative position of Brazil in the world. Argentina. active participation in multilateral regimes.20 The reason for these poor results has to be found in the fact that their respective agricultural and food production were scarcely complementary and even competitors. Unlike Carlos Menem. The departure from identification with the developing world has to be understood in terms of a reinforcement of bargaining .24 During the Collor administration. and the early post-Cold War international system provided a straight answer: the United States. Despite this pursuit of privileged political relations. neo-liberalism inspired all public policies.812 Gian Luca Gardini inherently responsible for the subsequent isolation and decay of the country. markets and technology to support internal reform. environment. internationally disillusioned. he had not explicitly declared what his economic programme would be during the electoral campaign. Overall. his foreign policy platform had generated three types of expectations: modernisation of the international agenda of the country. As in the case of Argentina. These considerations were incorporated in the theory of realismo periférico.23 However. Inte- gration in the South American Cone could not but be largely affected too. and avoidance of conflictive relations with the hegemon and its agenda. resulted in the reformulation of the available options of external conduct.25 The analysis of the international context. he was an outsider. including foreign policy. such as nuclear non-proliferation. and reduction of the terceiromundista approach to international relations.21 Argentina turned to Brazil to find an outlet for its production.22 As had already happened in the mid-1980s. and his victory was largely unanticipated. and took office in March 1990. opening to import of goods and services. The increased cost of autonomy forced Brazil to put aside traditional foreign policy patterns and to adapt itself to new internationally prevailing imperatives. Like his Argentine contemporary. THE BRAZILIAN PERSPECTIVE AND INTERNATIONAL INSERTION STRATEGY Fernando Collor de Mello was elected President of Brazil in two rounds of elections between November and December 1989. the Menem administration was a real watershed for Argentina’s foreign and economic policy. Brazilian foreign policy pursued economic opening and favourable access to credit. had to seek for a further rapprochement with its neighbour to provide sustainability for its programme of economic development. economic transactions with the US never took off.19 which served as theoretical background to Menem’s foreign policy throughout the 1990s. moderation on the conflictive issues with the US. The point was now to search for a new privileged association.

national development remained the rationale behind choices of international relevance. MENEM. Brazil never aligned itself automatically. When Menem took office in mid-1989. traditional positions. Within the constraints of the new international framework. When the international modifications displayed their effects. a firm stand towards the United States. On the one hand. too. so too did the major initiatives he had proposed. Menem found President Collor to be a man with whom he had . uncritically. This. Under Collor. Brazil preserved a developmentalist sensitivity and a broadly North–South vision of international relations. the economic opening was more rhetorical than effective. the major achievement of the Collor administration was inte- gration in the Southern Cone. as did the definition of national interest. foreign policy agenda and objectives tended to coincide. which was reflected in his official visits abroad. or broadly with the United States.26 Important elements of both change and continuity characterised Collor’s foreign policy. Modality of international interconnectedness and the balance of world power were about to change but had not quite done so yet. his counterpart in Brazil was still President Sarney. overall. such as autonomy on international questions. the nature of Brazilian international presence shifted from the essentially political to the essentially economic. and the protection of national economy all became more elastic. He put strong emphasis on accession to the first world. SARNEY AND THE CONTINUITY OF THE ORIGINAL MODEL The pace of integration indeed reflected the changes occurring in the international arena. His economic policy was a failure: the privatisation programme was not implemented. was redesigned according to the new vision and objectives informing Collor’s political and economic action. was not successful either. so that when he was impeached by Congress in 1992 and lost respect and credibility. The results of Collor’s administration were not positive. Although its national interest was increasingly perceived in terms of economic modernisation. and its progress was parallel to the adaptation of national strategies to the international agenda. nuclear development. Integration proceeded on established lines. the economy entered recession in 1991 and inflation reached 440% in 1991 and 1000% in 1992.28 Collor’s foreign policy.27 On the other hand. also. His presidential diplomacy tended to identify his personal com- mitments and views with those of his country.Who Invented Mercosur? 813 power vis-à-vis the industrialised world.29 Perhaps. His intention was to promote his governmental project and style among top politicians and businessmen in developed countries.

it is also possible to detect how. and “to pool our scarce resources to face technological challenge…[A]nd to attain a reasonable degree of welfare. Alberto Kohan. his first official working mission abroad. Domingo Cavallo.814 Gian Luca Gardini many political affinities. if elected to government. which culminated in Menem’s visit to Brasilia. Each perceived the need to modernise his country. from which it appeared that the continuity of integration depended on its compatibility with the internal reform plan. had been very critical of the sectoral methodology of integration when this had been launched.35 Yet Brazilian caution did not disappear.37 Moreover.31 To reassure Brazil about his intentions if elected President. to face the new global order. Menem was extremely confident that the opinions he expressed in the letter would be soon attributable to the next Argentine Head of government. The governor made reference to three types of need: “not to act alone in the face of the big units defining today’s international framework”. “to preserve our freedom of action in front of the economic concentrations running world finance and trade”.”34 Menem concluded his message with the pledge that. and later Secretary-General to the Presidency. Bordon travelled to Brasilia in the summer of 1988. now Foreign Minister-designate. Also during the transition. Menem had placed strong rhetorical emphasis on Latin American integration and shown firm personal commitment to it. Sarney expressed “great satisfaction” for the reassuring words by Menem. Foreign Minister Cavallo stated that his earlier . Menem entrusted José Octavio Bordon. Also.32 Menem reiterated the “true and profound vocation” for Latin American integration of the justicialista thinking. the design of. This posture was rooted in Peronist thought and tradition. and most of all its economy. traditionally developmentalist elements intermingled with new global concerns in Menem’s thought about integration. it was not clear what his attitude towards Brazil was. frequently travelled to Brazil to pro- mote the issue of integration. Menem’s populist reputation as a governor of the province of La Rioja had reached Brazil long before he became President. to hand to Sarney a personal letter. in this phase. and he stressed that his party has “always thought that Argentine– Brazilian integration constitutes a fundamental pillar” for any attempt at continental integration. Yet in Brasilia perplexity remained about both his genuine friendliness to Brazil30 and his actual integrationist will. Secretary of International Relations of the justicialista party. he would continue to support bilateral integration.33 From the letter. and approach to integration was rapidly modified. In his reply. The Argentine administration promptly undertook a set of reassuring steps. one of Menem’s closer aides.36 Indeed Brazilian prudence was fed by the unfolding of the menemista programme of economic and foreign policy. Accordingly.

on the contrary. but certainly highlighted Menem’s resolve in pushing for his own agenda. He took the initiative to propose the adhesion of other countries to the project in order to create a bloc on the model of the European Union. not only in the sectoral approach. Although the Brazilian incumbent administration had already lost much credit and support internally. sponsored a new and bolder approach to integration. continuity with past practice was evident. it was important to give a strong signal of continuity and support. At this point. President Sanguinetti of Uruguay. When meeting the candidates for the Brazilian presidency. therefore was far from being confrontational. and Brazilian willingness to cooperate over this was an established pattern too. it was characterised by cordiality and a collaborative attitude. During the three-day summit. in August 1989. This proposal could hardly be considered a novelty. and especially Foreign Minister Cavallo. The visit of President Menem to Brasilia. Sarney still appeared as the guar- antor of the process. as usual. and that he had not questioned its political value. His administration. and the three Presi- dents released a statement in which they reaffirmed their commitment to integration. bilateral integration was an established state policy in both countries. Another significant trait of continuity was the reference President Menem made to the common will to strengthen democracy and promote the growth of Latin American peoples. the most innovative element of the meeting was the charismatic presence of President Menem himself. Furthermore. and Menem as the newcomer.Who Invented Mercosur? 815 criticism had concerned the methodology of integration. was invited for joint discussion. which still fitted its developmentalist approach to national and international economics. Also. . Argentine–Brazilian integration was to experience an odd six months. Perhaps. instead.39 Concern for the Argentine trade deficit. and the new international circumstances argued for its reinforcement rather than its debilitation. therefore negotiations continued according to the old pattern. and Argentina had decided to stick to the existing methodology in the immediate future. but political pragmatism suggested they should put aside the plan at least until the presidential elections in Brazil. he added that. on the eve of Presidential elections in Brazil. The product by product approach was not compatible with Menem’s plans of a fast opening of the economy. The Sarney government. wanted to stick to the methodology it had helped to create.38 Yet until the new Brazilian administration entered Palacio Planalto. but acted as the new guarantor of the process. he insisted on the issue of integration and the candidates committed them- selves to supporting the undertaking if elected. Menem tried not only to reassure the Brazilians about his commitment to integration.

41 but it was not until 1990 that the Menem administration dramatically lowered customs duties. became a topical issue. including a common external tariff. THE MENEM–COLLOR ENTENTE Similarities between the programmes of Menem and Collor were particu- larly strong. in line with the national programmes. under Alfonsín. Argentina had started its process of economic lib- eralisation in 1988. as many products. But by 1990 this objective was already obsolete. Even before deliber- ating on the future form or legal evolution of the free trade area. Cavallo came out in favour of a more vigorous. Almost necessarily. which was to be achieved by 1998. This exercise would be universal. the reduction programme envisaged a general approach. Argentina appeared as the major supporter of the modernisation and strengthening of the process. that is with a scheduled timetable for application not subject to sectoral negotiations. which affected the entire customs regime.816 Gian Luca Gardini A reversal of positions was taking place. and the incoming administration would have to prove itself able to cope with the renewed momentum. only a very complex and sophisti- cated system of rules of origin could avoid unfair competition between ports and other stations receiving incoming goods. regardless of their geographical origin. Collor announced a 4-year plan for reducing customs tariffs. By winter 1989. . Moreover. extensive and effective integrationist project. and automatic. the project of a common market.40 The incumbent Brazilian adminis- tration bore the burden of impasse. The 1988 Treaty of Integration. In both countries. At the same time. The first big change concerning integration decided by the Menem and Collor administrations derived directly from the strong emphasis they gave to the commercial aspects of economic policy. with uncoordinated tariff reductions and a free trade agreement. In a free trade area without a common external tariff but with low levels of import tariff. This change robbed the inte- grationist principles of selectiveness and gradualness of much of their meaning. it was decided to proceed with a bilateral commercial liberalisation programme through tariff reduction. third country products could compensate for disadvantages derived from customs duties by relative advantages in quality and price. would soon be able to enter the territories of Argentina and Brazil with a very low duty. especially regarding the intention to open the economy and reduce import tariffs. The integration commitment had to be upgraded and adapted to this new reality if it was to retain a minimum of political and economic meaning. Cooperation and Development had provided for the creation of a free trade area within ten years.

Collor travelled to Buenos Aires in his capacity of president-designate.42 Also. and gave a juridical frame to all the views and thinking . Brazilian Foreign Minister. when Cavallo met Uruguayan Chancellor Gross Espiel. The common lists of capital goods were also remarkably expanded. On 16 March 1990. In January 1990. and. This was a milestone in the evolution of integration in the Southern Cone. Provisions to implement the agreement in the automotive sector were finally activated. and who took the main relevant decisions. in which the two administrations announced the creation of a Committee of Implementation of the 1988 Treaty of Integration Cooperation and Development. The statute of bi-national enterprises.Who Invented Mercosur? 817 It is now important to investigate how and when this thinking was put into practice. signed by Presidents Menem and Collor. Outstanding commitments detailed in the original sectoral agreements were decidedly fostered: in the food sector. Probably it was not. endorsed the common will to proceed with bilateral and Latin American integration. granting national treatment to companies with 80% or more of their capital in Argentine and Brazilian hands was finalised.43 The presidential meeting between Menem and Collor took place in Buenos Aires on 5 and 6 July 1990. the two ministers analysed prospects for the extension of integration to other countries. Argentina and Brazil issued a Joint Declaration on the Integration Process. An addi- tional clue in this direction was given four days after this meeting. Paraguay and Bolivia in the Argentine– Brazilian undertaking. but it certainly gave a strong signal about the intention to re-launch the integration project. The Buenos Aires Act of 6 July 1990. the number of products included in the common lists was doubled and bigger quotas were granted to a significant number of other products. the day after the inauguration of President Collor. together with President Menem. A social security convention on pension schemes and contribu- tions was signed. travelled to Buenos Aires. Conversations with Domingo Cavallo focused on the idea of launching the common market before the ten-year period that had been envisaged in 1988 for the creation of the bilateral free trade area. incorporated. Francisco Rezek. Negotiations between the Menem administration and the staff of president-elect Collor de Mello started as soon as the Brazilian electoral results became known. and diplomatic sources referred to talks to include Uruguay. The Joint Declaration emphatically defined this step as historical for relations between the two countries. The list of common items to be used in the construction of the nuclear plants of Atucha II in Argentina and Angra II in Brazil was approved. In June 1990. A certain reserve at diplomatic level about this meeting spread a general impression that something big was under preparation for the Menem–Collor summit scheduled for the following month.

the fact that the deadline for the formation of the common market fell within the term in office of both administrations reinforced the credibility of the political commitment. called the Common Market Group. A bi-national working group. the economies of which were highly dependent on the big neighbours. From 1985.” and the importance of an “adequate international insertion” of the two countries. given the main political aim that had informed the original bilateral scheme. linear. Additionally. It required reduction to be applicable to all customs codes. nobody at the time thought it was important to make it explicit since it was a de facto condition. In its preamble. the coor- dination of their macroeconomic policies. the acceleration of integration is indicated to be the “adequate response” to international changes. and the elimination of all non-tariff barriers. was entrusted with the formulation of proposals to the two governments for implementation of the provisions of the Act. to be regulated by a calendar of pre-set and progressive reductions. the transitional period was so short that it raised the concern of many entrepreneurial sectors. despite the short time available.818 Gian Luca Gardini that led the two administrations towards the change of approach to integration. to be completed by the end of December 1994. which was to be completed by the time of entry into force of the common market. To this purpose. such as the “consoli- dation of the big economic spaces.45 However. there was a second stringent condition: that new members be democratic states. a system of exceptions was made available for highly sensitive or dynamic sectors.44 The new setting of the integrationist project was given the form of a common market. The mantra of general. The only formal condition was the membership of the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA).46 To check the negative effects on national industry of the drastic change. that is to say preservation of democracy.” the “globalisation of the economic scenario. according to Secretary Lavagna. the two governments committed them- selves to undertake all the necessary measures. and in particular. THE ENLARGEMENT PROCESS AND THE CREATION OF MERCOSUR Negotiations for enlarging the common market immediately started. and automatic reduction of customs tariffs. the general. and automatic tariff elimination is easily explained. This formula was perfectly compatible with the timing of internal liberalisation. linear. also of those who in 1988 had expressed approval of the project to create a free trade area and progressive moves towards a common market. democratised Uruguay was . especially with the Brazilian schedule. This was not a formal rule.47 The situation was clearly illustrated by the cases of Uruguay and Paraguay. and to proceed without further negotiation. However.

and the main issue report- edly was the incorporation of Montevideo to the Argentine–Brazilian integration. President Alberto Lacalle took office.49 Chile was the first priority. The two chancel- leries meant to expand the common market first towards Chile and Uruguay. and later towards Paraguay and Bolivia. Both Minister Cavallo and President Menem travelled to Chile in August. authoritarian Paraguay was never invited. on the contrary. and political representation of the whole Southern Cone. it decided to be formally associated to some of the agreements forming the PICE. Despite growing rumours and rising expecta- tions about the expansion of integration in the summer of 1989. and its growing division into blocs. Cooperation and Development Treaty. The changes of the early 1990s affected this aspect of integration too.48 it was only with the meeting Cavallo–Rezek of June 1990. but the integrationist enthusiasm showed by President Aylwin was more than counterbalanced by the scepticism of the powerful Chilean economic technocrats. Uruguay voiced its will to join the common market and asked for the elimination of the 1988 Treaty clause impeding the accession of new members until 1993. as announced by Minister Cavallo soon after the Buenos Aires summit. added value in reputation for solid economic management. on the other hand. Chile was not inclined to enter into any commitment without a net benefit for the country. However. However. and his economic orientations had close similarities to the programmes of Menem and Collor. Uruguay had participated in the Argentine–Brazilian integration process as an observer since the very beginning. but the same year declined the opportunity to accede to the Integration. the new international system.52 . After Menem’s visit.51 After the signature of the Buenos Aires Act. In June 1990. On the one hand.Who Invented Mercosur? 819 regularly invited to Argentine–Brazilian summits and later associated to some of the bilateral agreements. Santiago was fearful of the chronic macroeconomic instability of the other associates. Ministers Cavallo and Rezek undertook working meetings with the Uruguayan Chancellor Gross Espiel. In 1988. soon after their meeting in Buenos Aires. Chile and Paraguay returned to democracy in 1989. In March 1990. its economy was largely linked to that of its big neighbours. and additionally saw its lower level of customs tariffs as an obstacle to joining a customs union. urged a prompt enlargement of the bilateral agreements into a larger regional association. and the subsequent signature of the Buenos Aires Act that Argentina and Brazil started a vigorous diplomatic campaign to recruit new members.50 The association of Chile with the enter- prise had three considerable advantages for Argentina and Brazil: access to the Pacific. it remained clear that Chilean hesitation was hard to overcome.

in case of economic recovery. this would be done among equals. For Brazil. with the logic of a common market. early October 1990. In summer 1989. At the end of August 1990. Now. Paraguay accepted this condition. The Paraguayan delegation proposed Asunción as the venue for the formal signature of the common market treaty. On October 1 and 2 the dele- gations of the four countries met in Brasilia to start negotiations for a quadripartite integration treaty. 14 (ACE-14) of November 1990.55 The price of exclusion was far higher than that of accession. Argentina and Brazil invited the governments of Uruguay and Paraguay to participate in the project of the common market envisaged in the Buenos Aires Act. did not recognise the “different treatment” principle and stressed that. and the election of General Andrés Rodriguez to the Presidency. This happened because.54 Towards the end of August 1990. Paraguay would be the main electric energy supplier. great expectations rose in Paraguay about the country’s participation in the Southern Cone integration.820 Gian Luca Gardini With the return to democracy. Paraguay ended up gaining also a long list of concessions. but the provisions regarding the institutional setting and the transitional phase remained pending. an external consultant.”58 as consensus was reached about objectives and general principles of the treaty. parallel negotiations were being conducted for the bilateral common market and for the quadrilateral one. as 35% of its global foreign trade was with Argentina and Brazil. The application of Bolivia could not be accepted because it was a “member of the Andean Pact and therefore predisposed towards another common market. it is important to understand the different . what Minister Rezek defined “double allegiance”57 was another condition of ineligibility to membership of the incipient common market. The report recommended the adoption of a “different treatment” approach.53 However.”56 Besides the existence of an undemocratic regime. hired by LAIA at the request of the Para- guayan government. Paraguay played a strategic role for both Brazil and Argentina. Argentina and Brazil. delivered a report on the positive and negative aspects of a prospective Paraguayan accession to the Argentine–Brazilian scheme. For Argentina. sharing gains and burdens of the enterprise. if the common market had to be enlarged. reversing a long accepted LAIA tradition. The text discussed on the occasion was accepted by the parties “in principle. based on the size and the different degree of development of the country. The Argentine–Brazilian Common Market was finalised and formalised in the so-called Economic Complementation Agreement No. which systematised in a single document all the concessions Argentina and Brazil had made to each other since 1962 in the framework of LAIA. At this stage. Eventually. Paraguay is a reservoir of cheap labour indispensable to the economies of the Southern states.

LAIA provides members with the possibility of creating geographically limited preferential tariff regimes. LAIA and the future quadrilateral treaty.60 Once provisions for the bilateral common market were defined.61 The acronym Mercosur was reportedly coined by the Argentine Undersecretary of Foreign Trade Raúl Ochoa. On 26 March 1991. The ACE-14 incorporated all the previous economic complementation acts negotiated between Brazil and Argentina. the final version was initialised by the representatives of the four countries. Félix Peña. Brazil.Who Invented Mercosur? 821 levels of negotiation in order to grasp the relation between the PICE. which were instead estab- lished in the ACE-14 according to a general. linear and automatic scheme of import duties reductions. After three days. The PICE agree- ments involving tariff concessions had been notified to LAIA in the form of economic complementation acts. Its three pillars were: a) the free circulation of goods. the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of Argentina. The latter was a political com- mitment that did not contain tariff concessions. the quadrilateral agreement largely followed the same scheme. services. and confirmed the aspiration to Latin American integration. recalled that Uruguay and Paraguay were conscious of the fact that Argentina and Brazil were the main actors. The treaty incorporated in its preamble all the principles inspiring the Buenos Aires Act of 1990. the ACE-14 gave implementation to most of the principles formulated in the 1990 Buenos Aires Act. Also. Argentine Undersecretary of Economic Integration since January 1991. the Act of 1990. A sensitive point concerned the degree of institutionalisation of the future common market. was chosen because it incorporated two concepts: the final goal of the association was indeed the creation of a common market. This provision had made Argentine–Brazilian early integration possible.59 The absence of special tensions or particularly unpleasant moments during the final phase of negotiations was also due to the fact the real negotiation had been that of the ACE-14. Ambassador Antonio López Acosta. Argentina and Brazil wanted to retain a certain degree of control over the process and opposed the creation of supra-national organs. formally establishing Mercosur. Quadrilateral negotiations continued. Uruguay and Paraguay signed the Treaty of Asunción. proposed by the coordinator of the Paraguayan delegation to the Common Market Group. Upon notification. but debate over the text of the treaty was genuinely quadripartite. departing from the general rule of generalised tariff concessions. and production factors. in terms of size and economic volumes. and it allowed prospective enlargements to other LAIA countries. the ACE-14.62 On 18 February 1991. The designation Common Market of the South. the last round of technical negotiations to prepare the text of the Mercosur Treaty and its annexes was launched. as well as the .

64 In their dealings much depended on the compatibility of the internal and external agendas. CHANGE OR CONTINUITY? Presidents Menem and Collor brought elements of novelty into the foreign policy of their countries and the process of integration. Roles and competences within the government and diplomatic structures were more clearly and strictly defined. however. linear and automatic character of integration centralised the decision making process. Internally. at the beginning of integration. if “the father of the political creature Mercosur was President Carlos Menem. is the domain in which elements of continuity and change are more intermingled. and mutual interest prevailed over common ideals. and c) the coordination of macroeconomic policies. There was not such a privileged personal relation between Menem and Collor. in terms of how they managed the integration process and the interplay between the presidency and the diplomatic service. cooperation and democratic consolidation. Analysis will first target those aspects where elements of both change and continuity coexist. was deepened. in which synergy was indispensable to enhance the international attraction of both countries. it will then examine those features that display major signs of continuity and finally will assess the key elements of change introduced by the neo-liberal administrations. The large recourse to presidential diplomacy. The style of government of Menem and Collor. This attitude was applied to integration too. were dramatically reduced as compared to the previous phase of integration. In the field of integration. the . However. In Argentina. hierarchy was strengthened. it is possible to debate to what extent those changes occurred in a framework of substantial continuity and to what extent they actually departed from past patterns. The new general. President Alfonsín trusted his Foreign Minister Caputo to find a practical form of implemen- tation of his visionary rapprochement with Brazil to pursue peace. The room and need for autonomous negotiation at the lower diplomatic levels. as well as the technical level. By the same token.63 They shared similar views of international relations and had a common programme of economic modernisation. the personal relationship of empathy and friendliness linking Alfonsín and Sarney remained unique.822 Gian Luca Gardini elimination of all tariff and non-tariff barriers among the member states. a well-rooted tenet of Argentina and Brazil’s foreign policy. b) the creation of a common external tariff and the adoption of a common trade policy towards third countries as well as a common position in inter- national economic forums.

Under Collor. and Celso Lafer. and reckoned that President Menem was more genuinely inclined to integration than his team. attributed the main decisions concerning integration to both the President and the Foreign Minister. to which he gave support but not leadership. although inspired by the political vision of President Menem and the economic design of Domingo Cavallo. Celso Lafer. In Argentina. He can be considered the ideologue of the reshaping of the integration scheme. the Chancellor. the initiative stemming from both presidential intuition and diplomatic pragmatism. Collor found an ongoing process.70 affirmed that the impulse for the new approach clearly came from the Presidency.69 Danese also suggests that Collor was at the right place at the right time.77 Yet .75 In Brazil.74 The second is that Cavallo saw integration as a tool to pursue his economic design. as in the previous phase. but the process became much more centralised under Cavallo.67 Menem recruited to his staff personalities whose technical expertise was suitable to implement his broad political view of integration. Foreign Minister Rezek appeared closer to the process than many of his predecessors. which is not to say that he was partic- ularly keen on Mercosur. from economy to foreign affairs. were discussed and endorsed by the whole administration. but with extensive administrative and political experience. Foreign Minister in the last days of the Collor administration. hierarchical relations at the beginning of integration had been less clearly defined.68 In Brazil. there are those who considered Cavallo. According to Sergio Danese.Who Invented Mercosur? 823 father of the content.”65 Menem was a man of limited academic education. and his successor Guido Di Tella. and they understood the Argentine–Brazilian strategic alliance as a multiplication of power rather than merely a sum of it. two points have to be highlighted. The first is that decisions concerning integration. who succeeded Rezek in 1992.76 Both Collor and Rezek were in favour of integration.72 as this was part of his plan of economic opening and competitive international insertion. He was not keen on the details but was interested and directly involved in the general lines of actions of all governmental policies. he had a strong interest in the interna- tional position of Argentina and a clear inclination towards Latin American integration. Indeed. but that the real inspiration and determination came from the bureaucracy.71 and found in the Foreign Ministry a devoted coordinator and executor. lukewarm in their support for Merco- sur. However. of the public policies was Domingo Cavallo. this complex interaction persisted. from health to justice. However. the Foreign Ministry was the coordinator of negotiations.73 and received the support of the entire epistemic community surrounding Menem. former advisor to Sarney and later Minister Councillor at the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires.66 In particular.

under Alfonsín and Sarney. The democratic creed never disappeared but was in fact reiterated more discretely. the preservation of democracy was the major political priority.824 Gian Luca Gardini the diplomatic bureaucracy maintained a considerable degree of autonomy within the process. But this mutu- ally utilitarian and complementary scheme was only part of the story. and continued to provide a strong and qualitative source of input to integration. In the first phase. and in the realm of economics with the necessity of modernisation and international insertion. lost the affinity derived from the existence of shared objectives and values. it was felt that the creation of a larger market and the pursuit of joint economic modernisation would enhance economic performance. The basic rationale for Argentine–Brazilian integration did not change significantly throughout the years. but the main goal appeared to be economic competitiveness in a globalising world. increasing the prestige. integration shifted from the eminently political to the eminently economic. were essentially subordinate to this goal. Brazil’s core interest was instead related to the increase of its political weight in the world through the aggregation of regional associates. that is to say that integration with Brazil was considered a chance to increase economic performance. Second. including integration. a closer association between the two countries was deemed likely to raise their international profile and relative weight. Collor and also Lacalle of Uruguay took charge of the integration process. The domain in which continuity between the 1985–1988 and the 1989– 1991 phases of integration is stronger is that of guiding principles and rationale for the whole integration exercise. which in the last instance . First. and integration with Argentina was primarily considered an instrument to enhance Brazil’s political performance. integration was still pursued as conducive to political and economic stability. Finally. and this reduced the room for political manoeuvre by the military. stabilising both regimes and reducing discontent. under Menem and Collor. at no moment.”78 The commitment to integration was kept because the members perceived their basic similarities. When Presidents Menem. legitimacy and international ties of the ruling elites. and strategies of international insertion. the formalisation of a diplomatic alliance diminished the possibility of conflict between the two countries. they repeatedly asserted that democracy was the basic guiding value underlying integration. The main interest of Argentina in the association was intimately related to the maximisation of its return in terms of economic growth. In the second phase.79 Yet. The most important trait of continuity between the two phases of inte- gration lies in the fact that “the associates. in the realm of politics with the affirmation of democ- racy. decisive elements of clear-cut change emerge in the crucial issue of the paternity of the common market.

Menem and Collor altered the scheduled temporal sequence of integration only in a very broad sense.82 This interpretation looks inaccurate as the ten-year deadline set in 1988 concerned the creation of a free trade area. with the exception of trade liberalisation. in 1988 the objective was to achieve a free trade area within ten years and not a common market. Although Mercosur allowed a significant degree of flexibility to implement its commitments.Who Invented Mercosur? 825 determined the most significant departure from the previous approach. the methodology adopted in 1990 “does not violate the intention of what was established in 1986–1988. this is a different question.83 The crucial point is that Menem and Collor indeed reduced the duration of the transi- tional phase. Reportedly. concerned different instruments of integration. concerning the intentions. as in 1988 there was no deadline for the establishment of the common market. that he was continuing the undertaking she had started. indeed. the concept of a common market was introduced only as an aspiration in the long run. which constitute one of the Mercosur’s pillars. the final result. It was Menem and Collor in fact who introduced the creation of the common market as a concrete objective of integration and they set an entirely new deadline of five years for this achievement. Third.86 Yet. during the lunch offered at the Brazilian Embassy in Buenos Aires for the signature of the 1990 Buenos Aires Act. but Nofal replied that actually he was going to change it. What is altered is the temporal sequence. According to Roberto Lavagna. and their respective deadlines. Argentine former Undersecretary for Industrial Policy. President Collor. A general. its timing and methodology exposed it and its creators to criticism of “utopianism and excess of optimism”84 and “precipitateness. the sequence. and its construction was not to be started until the full completion of the free trade area. but the two transitional periods. This said it is still possible to argue that overall the process of Argentine– Brazilian rapprochement and cooperation evolved in a linear trajectory between 1979 and 1991.”80 Three counterarguments may be advanced against this continuity model interpretation. and consequentially.81 Later. Second. the methodology chosen by Menem and Collor implied the abandonment of some of the principles previously inspiring integration.”85 This was in stark contrast with the cautiousness and gradualness inspiring the previous model. Nofal recalled that in the 1988 treaty there was no mention of customs union or common external tariff. and the methodology of integration. linear and automatic tariff reduction was hardly compatible with a selective and gradual project of sectoral industrial complementation. It is also possible to maintain that the two phases of integration. Some observers have argued that the 1990 Act reduced the transitional period for the creation of the common market from ten to five years. First. told Beatriz Nofal. 1985–1989 and .

Argentina. ‘Integration in South America: The Mercosur Experience. Da Tripliçe Aliança ao Mercosul (Rio de Janeiro: Revan Editora. 4. political and economic circumstances of that moment. 46 (1992). Regional Integration in Latin America and the Caribbean: the Political Economy of Open Regionalism (London: ILAS. 2. Brazilian Foreign Ministry. yet. Author’s interview with Beatriz Nofal (Undersecretary .). Conflito e Inte- gração na America do Sul. Cooperation and Compe- tition in a Common Market. 1988–1990). 1999). Selcher.). David R. Del ABC al Mercosur. (New York: Springer. 1998). 139–150. Andrés Cisneros and Carlos Piñeiro Iñiguez. pp. Brasilia 22/05/2003. 1999). Brazilian Foreign Ministry. Victor Bulmer-Thomas (ed. And yet. ‘Brazilian–Argentine Relations in the 1980s: From Wary Rivalry to Friendly Competition. appear to be a natural continuation of one another. Monica Hirst. Peter Coffey (ed. 261–277. Author’s interview with Samuel Pinheiro Guimarães (Head of the Economic Division. 1985–1988).’ Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs. Sonia de Camargo and José Maria Vasquez Ocampo. La Integración Latinoamericana en la Doctrina y Praxis del Peronismo (Buenos Aires: Nuevohacer Grupo Editor Latinoamericano. Integration and Develop- ment. The Democratic Transition and Mercosur. Mercosur is the almost natural consequence and evolution of its antecedents. Jorge Campbell (ed. 13/2 (1996). Jaime Behar. 11/3 (1992). (Boston and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. this is also a different matter. each phase reflected “the process appropriate to the historical.”87 The historical. Autoritarismo e Democracia na Argentina e Brasil (São Paulo: Editora Convivio. 51–61.). Geneva 08/12/2004. Mercosur.826 Gian Luca Gardini 1989–1991. Mercosur. pp. Sylvia M. 2002).’ CEPAL Review. Estados Unidos. 2000).). 25–53. it is clearly distinct from them and its paternity and features are clearly different from those of its precedents. As wittingly and accurately observed by Jorge Campbell. 2001). NOTES 1. Author’s interview with Francisco Thompson Flores (Undersecretary General of Economic Affairs. pp. Riordan Roett (ed. who served both in the Alfonsín and Menem administrations. Articles 3 and 5 of the 1988 Treaty of Cooperation. political and economic circumstances following the international events of 1989– 1990 were a significant change in world politics and international relations and so was the creation of the Mercosur in the framework of the regional integration project in the Southern Cone of Latin America.’ International Relations. Entre la Realidad y la Utopia (Buenos Aires: Nuevohacer Grupo Editor Latinoamericano. Studies on the Formation of Mercosur. 3. 1988). Brasil. Williams. Mercosur. Wayne A. ‘Competition and Co-operation in the River Plate.’ Bulletin of Latin American Research. 27/2 (1985). 2003). Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira. pp. World Markets (Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers. ‘Mercosur and the New Circumstances for its Integration. Dàvila-Villers. Regional Integration.

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‘A Política Exterior do Brasil: 1990–2002. Buenos Aires Act. 25 February 2003. 13–20. 1991–1992). Itamaraty Archive. La Nación. Argentina. 37. 377–388.’ 28. 35. 24. 30. 1453 of 30 September 1988. Sao Paulo. 25. Mercosur. Globalisación e His- toria (Buenos Aires: Camara de Diputados de la Nación. Marcelo Garriga. 23.). Brasilia DF. Moniz Bandeira. Campbell. 43.828 Gian Luca Gardini 21. Politicas Comunes y Alianzas Regionales (Buenos Aires: Grupo Editor Latinoamericano. História da Política Exterior do Brasil (Brasilia: Editora UNB. La Nación. Bernal–Meza. 38. 39. 44. Brasil. Author’s interview with Félix Peña (Undersecretary of Economic Integration. Amado Luiz Cervo and Clodoaldo Bueno. Estados Unidos.’ in Camara de Diputados de la Nación (ed. Cavallo quoted in: Campbell. 45/1 (2002). 45. Argentina y Brasil en el Mercosur. 32. 2002). Cisneros and Iñíguez. Brasilia DF. Brasil. Mercosur. 14 March 2003. Bernal-Meza.’ 41. Letter by President José Sarney to Governor Carlos Menem. Author’s interview with Celso Lafer (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. Carlos Da Silva and Gabriela Zanin. Buenos Aires. 34. Letter by Carlos Menem to President José Sarney of 28 August 1988. Mercosur. Sergio França Danese. 46. pp. ‘Políticas Exteriores: Hacia una Política Común. ‘Tramos Seleccionados de Diversas Entrevistas Realiza- das al Canciller Domingo Cavallo. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil.’ Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional. 1989–1991). 42. 1992 and 2001–2002).). 02 June 2003. Del ABC al Mercosur. 22. 1995). paragraphs 3 and 4. Letter by Menem to President Sarney. 40.’ 27. Author’s interview with Luiz Felipe Lampreia (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. 33. Estados Unidos. Cavallo in FLACSO. 16 June 1990. 23 August 1989. 31. 06 July 1990. Itamaraty Archive. Letter by Menem to President Sarney. Raúl Bernal-Meza. 1435 of 27 September 1988. 11 June 2003. Argentina. 1999). Author’s interview with Alberto Kohan (Secretary General of the Argentine Presidency. no date. 1995–2001). pp. Preamble. Repro- duced in document No. 26. ‘El Mercosur ante el Regionalismo y la Globalisación. ‘A Política Exterior do Brasil. 36–71. pp. ‘A Política Exterior do Brasil. La Nación. Moniz Bandeira. Diplomacia Presidencial: História e Crítica (Rio de Janeiro: Topbooks. 20 June 1990. .’ in Fun- dación Konrad Adenauer (ed. Author’s interview with Roberto Favelevic (President of the Argentine Indus- trial Union. 36. Argentina. and Vice-President of the Argentine Industrial Union. Buenos Aires. Campbell. 1983–1987. 1998). Moniz Bandeira. Estados Unidos. Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 29. Repro- duced in document No.

15 May 1989. 1986–1987). 49. 53. including Head of Cabinet of Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella. Interview with Peña. Box 37. 56. 71. Document No. See also La Nación. Brasilia DF. 52. 20 June 1990. Document No. 11 July 1990. Intervention of Foreign Minister Francisco Rezek at the External Relations Committee of the Chamber of Representatives. Interview with Lafer. Camilión. See also: La Nación. concerning the prospective Paraguayan accession to the Argentine–Brazilian scheme. Diplomacia Presidencial. Itamaraty Archive. Campbell. 05 December 1990. 50. Author’s interview with Jorge Castro (Member of the Secretariat of Interna- tional Relations of the Justicialista party and chief ideologue of the Menemista project). 59. Brasilia DF. Document No. ‘unclear-00818’ of 31 August 1989. Secretary General of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Itamaraty Archive. Buenos Aires. Mercosur. 64. Buenos Aires. Memorias Politicas. Document No. 70. 48. Interview with Kohan. 26 March 2003. Buenos Aires. 1991–1994). 65. 63. 47. 57. Uruguay. 18. Danese.Who Invented Mercosur? 829 1987–1994). Itamaraty Archive. 54. Buenos Aires. La Nación. Brasilia DF. Brasilia DF. Archive of the Chamber of Representatives. 58. 69. and Campbell. La Nación. 20 March 2003. Buenos Aires. Interview with Peña. Camargo. Memorias Politicas. and Deputy Foreign Minister). . Paraguay and LAIA. 61. Brasilia DF. La Nación. Itamaraty Archive. 18 July 1990. 21 February 2003. 62. Communication of Minister Francisco Rezek to the Brazilian Embassies to Argentina. and Head of Cabinet of the Argentine Foreign Minister.239 of 14 March 1991. 1992–1993). Author’s interview with Andrés Cisneros (several government appointments between 1992 and 1997. Interviews with Lafer and Castro. Author’s interview with Israel Mahler (President of the Argentine Industrial Union. 06 July 1990. Argentine Ministry of Economy. A Integração do Cone Sul. Minutes of the quadripartite meeting of Brasilia. Camilión. 06/07/1990. 51. Of02001-00364 of 04 October 1990. 67. 66. Interview with Peña. ‘unclear-00818’ of 31 August 1989. Author’s interview with Roberto Lavagna (Secretary of Industry and Trade. 14 March 2003. Meeting No. 07 March 2003. 60. sent by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry to its Embassy to LAIA. Author’s interview with Jorge Hugo Herrera Vegas (Minister Councillor at the Argentine Embassy in Brasilia. 27 March 2003. 55. Celso Lafer replaced Francisco Rezek as Foreign Minister on 13 April 1992 and remained in charge until the dismissal by impeachment of President Collor in October 1992. Mercosur. Buenos Aires. 1987–1992. 138. 68. La Nación. Interview with Peña.

Interviews with Castro and Kohan. unpublished. Ambito Financiero. Argentina. 1995.830 Gian Luca Gardini 72. Interview with Nofal. 82. Hunt. 86. Interview with Cisneros. 73. 84. Interview with Castro. Interview with Lafer. 83. p. La Nación. Félix Peña. 80. 370–381. ‘El Mercado Común del Sur. 75. Argentine Ministry of Economy. 182. Lavagna. 1991). 81. De la Balze (ed. 85. 79. La Construcción del Mercosur. Interview with Nofal. Brasil. 24 February 2003. Author’s interview with Paulo Tarso Flecha de Lima (Secretary General of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Análisis de un Caso de Metodologia de Integración entre Naciones Soberanas.’ in Felipe A. p. Undersecretary of Eco- nomic Integration. Interviews with Castro and Cisneros. Interview with Campbell. Mercosur. pp. 23 August 1989 and 07 July 1990. 7. Author’s interview with Jorge Campbell (Undersecretary of Foreign Trade. Camargo. Mercosur. Argentine Ministry of Planning. 1986–1987 and 1989. Interview with Lavagna. Buenos Aires. A Integração do Cone Sul. Alfredo Aldaco and Guillermo J. Brasilia. 27 March 1991. 1991). book draft. 1985–1990). El Comercio Exterior Argentino en la Década de 1990 (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Manantial. Campbell.). 77. Interview with Thompson Flores. 78. . Interview with Peña. 76. 87. 74. 13 May 2003.