European Union External Action

Argentina and the EU

Argentina and the European Union (EU) develop their bilateral relations under the Framework Trade and Cooperation Agreement of 1990, which establishes the bases for cooperation in foreign trade, the economy, agriculture and industry.

Under this framework agreement, specific cooperation agreements have been reached concerning fishing (1993), the peaceful use of nuclear energy (1997) and concerning scientific and technological cooperation (1999), all of which have guided bilateral relations.

Also, the Joint Commission responsible for overseeing the agreement and promoting the relationship has encouraged dialogue regarding sectoral policies, which have been focused on the issue of regional development and international cooperation, among other subjects.

As a member country of the Mercosur trading block, bilateral relations between Argentina and the EU are also subject to the Interregional Framework Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Mercosur of 1995, which promotes the growth and diversification of trade and lays foundations for the future creation of an interregional political and economic association based on three core issues:

  • Strengthening political dialogue,
  • Liberalising trade in a progressive and reciprocal manner, and
  • Advancing regional cooperation.

The fundamental core of trade relations between the EU and Argentina is the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement, which is currently under negotiation and which aims to create a free trade area between the blocks.

The objective is to negotiate an agreement that will cover not only the trade of industrial and agricultural goods, but also cover other areas such as the trading of services, public procurements, intellectual property, the facilitation of trade and the reduction of technical barriers to trade.

In addition, economic relations between Argentina and the EU have been advanced in recent years through sectoral dialogue concerning economic and financial questions, the information society, energy and satellite navigation, all carried out by a joint commission.

The EU has a thriving trade relationship with Argentina, with trade that exceeded €17.17 billion in 2015.

Below are some figures that demonstrate this relationship:

  • The EU is Argentina’s second largest trading partner, accounting for 15.6 % of its total trade in 2015, second only to Brazil.
  • In 2015, Argentina exported mainly agricultural products (77.3 %) and manufactured products (14.3 %) to the EU.
  • The EU mainly exported manufactured goods to Argentina, such as machinery and transportation equipment (46.1 %) and chemicals (23.2 %).
  • The export of services to Argentina has grown in recent years, from €3 billion in 2010 to €4.1 billion in 2014.

Argentina is also an important destination for investments by European companies. Investment stock from the EU exceeded €35.2 billion in 2014. In addition, 21 member states have signed agreements on reciprocal promotion and protection of investments with Argentina.

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Due to its economic performance, Argentina is considered a ‘graduated’ country and is therefore not eligible for bilateral cooperation within the framework of the EU 2014-2020 financial period.

However, Argentina will remain eligible to participate in regional and thematic cooperation programmes, which represents an excellent opportunity to jointly re-define new forms of cooperation.

Up to 2014, the EU has invested over €150 million through over 200 contracts in areas such as modernising the industrial system, developing provincial support structures for SMEs, the Argentine economy's efficiency and competitiveness and establishing the industrial forestry sector, among others.

The close cultural ties which, due to historical reasons, member states of the EU have with the Argentine Republic, are embodied in a policy of active cultural promotion that helps to consolidate cultural and trade relations between European industry and Argentina.

These policies include:

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