In 2022, 10 years will have passed since Peru and the European Union (EU) signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), that generated shipments to this block for more than US$58,397 million (see infographic). This fruitful relationship could be weakened—or even annulled—since our country decided to release Alberto Fujimori, disregarding the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR). In this way, the agreement between both economies would have been violated.
Various specialists have highlighted that the first article of this agreement indicates that respect for fundamental human rights, as well as the rule of law, is a condition of this agreement. “Respect for these principles constitutes an essential element of this agreement,” the document reads.
For Javier Mujica, specialist at Perú Equidad, if the European bloc places this precision first, it is because its interest is to establish commercial relations with democratic countries that are in line with respect for human rights.
In that sense, there are already signs of concern from the citizens of this bloc. Fernando Hernández, member of the Both Ends organization from Holland, comments that they will push the European bloc to issue a statement regarding the possible violation of this FTA.
“What just happened sends a signal that tells us as civil society that we have to demand that the European Union stop precisely this type of agreements with a country like Peru that is blinded and denied compliance with human rights.” Hernández, who has an honorary position in the EU and is in charge of monitoring compliance with this treaty, told La República.
For his part, Mujica recalls that our country is part of various agreements in addition to the IACHR, such as the ICSID, a system to which any company can turn if it considers that its investments have been affected by irregular acts by state entities.
In that sense, the message is that Peru could turn a deaf ear to any international commitment, putting us at the level of Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Furthermore, the lawyer also states that the European bloc could file a complaint, which would be added to those already in process, one for violation of the chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development, and another, “to the extent that Peru in labor and environmental matters is failing what is expected of its conduct.”
Future agreements in suspense
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur), Juan Carlos Mathews, recently stated that he not only seeks to strengthen the trade relations we have in force, but also hopes to conclude new FTAs with markets such as India, Hong Kong and Thailand in 2024.
In this regard, Mujica pointed out that the country’s decision to support Fujimori’s release could cloud future trade negotiations. “Who is going to trust a State that does not comply with its international obligations? This is like shooting shoes. How do we want to have growth, that generates employment, that allows people to escape poverty, if at the same time we are violating people’s rights? “He concluded.
“Peru cannot isolate itself from the world”
From the export sector, which is above all the one that faces foreigners in commercial matters, there is great concern that political and social conflicts have worsened.
Regarding the danger in which the FTA between Peru and the European Union would find itself due to the contempt of the IACHR, the president of the Association of Exporters (ADEX), Julio Pérez Alván, said that “if it is going to be decided on something, that be it by strictly following what national and international laws say, because Peru cannot isolate itself from the world, it has to be governed by an international system,” he noted.
Javier Mujica, Peru Equidad specialist
“If Peru begins, as it is already doing, to ignore these international obligations, Who is going to want to invest in Peru? Trust is not offered.”
Infographic – The Republic
Alia is a professional author and journalist, working at 247 news agency. She writes on various topics from economy news to general interest pieces, providing readers with relevant and informative content. With years of experience, she brings a unique perspective and in-depth analysis to her work.