Mercosur: History

1979 Signature of the Tripartite agreement between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
First informal talks about integration between Argentina and Brazil. 1984
1985 Presidents Alfonsin (Argentina) and Sarney (Brazil) commit their respective countries to integration. A joint Declaration on Nuclear Cooperation is also issued.
Presidents Alfonsin and Sarney sign the Programma de Integracion y Cooperation Economica (PICE) establishing economic integration between Argentina and Brazil. The original program comprised 12 sectoral protocols, increased to 24 in subsequent summits. 1986
1988 Signature of the Treaty of Integration, Cooperation and Development between Argentina and Brazil. The treaty establishes a common economic space and introduces the concept of common market as an aspiration for the future.
Signature of the Buenos Aires Act that provides for the establishment of a bilateral common market by December 1994. A diplomatic campaign to attract new members to the future common market starts. Negotiations proceed now on to two parallel tracks: bilateral and multilateral. 1990
1991 The Treat of Asunción, establishing a common market between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, is signed.
Protocol of Ouro Preto, amending the Treaty of Asunción from a Free Trade Area to a Customs Union. 1994
1996 Bolivia joins Mercosur as an associated member.
Brazil and Peru’s presidents sign a free-trade agreement between Peru and Mercosur. Peru planned to join as an associate member. 2003
2004 Mercosur signs a cooperation agreement with the Andean Community of Nations. As a result, Colombia and Ecuador are brought in the fold as Mercosur associate members, joining their fellow Andean Community members, Bolivia and Peru.
Venezuela is accepted as a member of Mercosur, but waiting on recognition of full membership from Paraguayan parliament. 2006
2007 The Mercosur Parliament is inaugurated following an agreement in 2004 ordering its creation. It is based in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Paraguay is suspended from Mercosur in response to the impeachment of a senator for "dereliction of presidential duties". Mercosur interpreted this as a congressional coup and sactioned Paraguay until fresh elections were held. 2012
2012 Venezuela is officially welcomed into the Mercosur trade bloc as Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hosted Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez and Uruguay's Jose Mujica along with Chavez for the one-day Mercosur meeting in Brasilia.
The president's of the Mercosur countries lifts Paraguay's suspension after the inauguration of Paraguay's new president in August. 2013


Encyclopedia of Latin America History and Culture. 2nd ed. Vol. 6. New York City: Charles Scribners & Sons, 2008.

Gardini, Gian Luca. The Origins of Mercosur: Democracy and Regionalization in South America. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.