Mercosur’s Flexibilization Dilemma

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


When leaders of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) met at an online summit in March 2021, many observers expected leaders to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of its founding document—the Treaty of Asunción. Instead, a public clash between Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou and Argentine President Alberto Fernández dominated regional headlines. Lacalle Pou called on regional leaders to prevent Mercosur from becoming a “lastre” or burden on its members. In turn, Fernández replied that Mercosur was not intended to be a burden on any nation, but if that was the case for Uruguay, then the country was welcome to embark on a different path. Thus, the anniversary of Mercosur’s founding marked a critical juncture for regional leaders to reflect upon the general balance of integration in the Southern Cone and reopen the debate on Mercosur’s role in the national development strategies of its member states.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationGlobal Americans
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022


  • Mercosur
  • Southern Cone
  • South American regionalism


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