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Student: Caos Enrique Cairo

Student: Carlos Enrique Cairo



The History of Development and Inter-American Cooperation: Case Studies in Urban and Regional DevelopmentLehrende: Herr PD Dr. Frederik SchulzeStudent: Carlos Enrique CairoDate: 02.06.2022





- The "Mercado Común del Sur" (MERCOSUR) is a regional integration process initially instituted by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, which in later stages has been joined by Venezuela and Bolivia (in the process of accession). - Its official working languages are Spanish and Portuguese. In 2006, by means of CMC Decision Nº 35/06, Guaraní was incorporated as one of the languages of the bloc. - Its main objective was to promote a common space that would generate trade and investment opportunities through the competitive integration of national economies into the international market. - It has established multiple agreements with countries or groups of countries, granting them, in some cases, the status of Associated States. These participate in activities and meetings of the bloc and enjoy trade preferences with the States Parties. MERCOSUR has also signed trade, political or cooperation agreements with a diverse number of nations and organisations on the five continents.


1985: the presidents of Argentina and Brazil, Raúl Alfonsín and José Sarney respectively, signed the Foz do Iguaçu Declaration, the 'cornerstone of Mercosur'. 1986: the Act for Argentine-Brazilian Integration was signed, a programme of Exchange and Economic Cooperation between Argentina and Brazil (PICE), based on the principles of gradualism, flexibility, symmetry, balance, preferential treatment vis-à-vis third markets, progressive harmonisation of policies and participation of the business sector. 1988: the Alvorada Act was signed, through which Uruguay joined the regional integration process.


- Common Market Council (CMC): this is the highest body of Mercosur and adopts the most important rules called "decisions", made by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Ministers of Economy of the member countries.- Common Market Group (GMC): this is the executive body of the bloc, its rules are called "resolutions" and it is made up of five members from each country, three of whom must represent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and the Central Bank. - Mercosur Trade Commission (CCM): it assists the GMC and its rules are called "directives". It is made up of four members from each country and is coordinated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.


In addition to these, there are four other important bodies derived from the founding texts: - Mercosur Parliament or PARLASUR (PM): the legislative body of the bloc; - Mercosur Secretariat: a permanent administrative coordination body; - the Mercosur Permanent Review Tribunal (TPR), as a judicial body; - Economic-Social Consultative Forum (FCES): is the body for civil society participation; We also find the Summits of Mercosur Heads of State, from which the "declarations" emerge, as well as commissions, working groups, specialised meetings, forums, funds and other spheres dependent on the main bodies.


South-South Cooperation-Integration

Adopted UN General Assembly Resolution 64/222 (21 December 2009)


- It is a common endeavour of the peoples and countries of the South, born out of shared experiences and affinities, based on common objectives and solidarity, and guided by the principles of respect for national sovereignty and ownership, free of any conditionalities [...] It is a partnership of equals based on solidarity.- Different from the traditional North-South modality.


- horizontality; - preservation of diversity; - protection of cultural identity; - non-interference in the internal affairs of states; - understanding of countries' own situations; - respect for national independence and sovereignty.

María Lis Rolandi

- Bilateral Horizontal South-South Cooperation: cooperation between governments, aimed at national priorities for the formulation of projects and programmes carried out with the participation of all actors involved and with a programme of activities, evaluated upon completion in agreement with all parties; - Regional Horizontal South-South Cooperation: refers to programmes, projects and actions carried out with a minimum of three developing countries, in relation to issues such as health, environment and trade that concern a specific region, in order to strengthen integration links between member countries, create sectoral networks and elucidate issues of common interest; - Triangular Cooperation: technical cooperation between two or more developing countries and which is financially supported by Northern countries or international organisations.

Modalities of South-South Cooperation

María Lis Rolandi

- Decentralised Cooperation: this is a set of official development cooperation initiatives that support the need to encourage the commitment of local or regional governments in actions, both in terms of financing and implementation. In this way, local administrations, with autonomy, create and adopt innovative forms of cooperation based on their own strategies and resolutions, with mutually beneficial results and mutual learning, overcoming the vertical logic and allowing spaces for horizontal and direct relations between actors. - Greater participation by civil society, companies, universities, research centres, autonomous, local and provincial governments; social organisations, foundations, public companies, business groups, local economic development agencies, non-governmental organisations, etc.

Modalities of South-South Cooperation


Mercociudades ("Mercocities")

What is Mercociudades?

- Mercociudades is an association made up of Mercosur and UNASUR cities that constantly promotes the protagonism of local governments, vindicating their importance in the construction and consolidation of democratic processes in the region, supporting and stimulating the regional integration process. - Founded in Asunción (1995) at the I Summit of Mayors, Mayors and Prefects where the Founding Act of Mercociudades was signed. The founding cities were twelve: Asunción (Paraguay), Rosario, La Plata, Córdoba, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Florianópolis, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Salvador (Brazil) and Montevideo (Uruguay).- Mission: to strengthen regional identity and integration to ensure the development of cities and well-being in South America. - Vision: integrated, inclusive and participatory cities.



María Beatriz Lucuix


The process of integration of municipalities in the Mercociudades Network: the case of the Guaraní Aquifer

- The MERCOSUR Council on 2004 created the Ad Hoc Group of the High Level Guarani Aquifer, with the mandate to elaborate an agreement on the Guarani Aquifer. - Paragraph 20 of the joint communiqué of the Presidents of the States Parties at the XXIX Meeting of the MERCOSUR Council in Montevideo: "[...] to guarantee the permanent and unquestionable sovereignty of the four States Parties over this important transboundary water resource, ensuring its rational and sustainable use. They also stressed the importance of expanding technical and scientific knowledge on the Guaraní Aquifer System". - Article 1° of the "draft agreement on the Guarani Aquifer" by the Ad Hoc High Level Guarani Aquifer Group: "the Guarani Aquifer System is a transboundary water resource that integrates the sovereign territorial domain of the Argentine Republic, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Paraguay and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, which are the only holders of this resource".


- Draft Declaration of Basic Principles and Lines of Action for the Guarani Aquifer System: the governments agreed to implement it with the intervention of international organisations: the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank (WB) as implementing agency of the GEF funds, agreeing that the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States (GS/OAS) will act as international executing agency of the Project. - Its purpose is to "support the four countries to jointly elaborate and implement a common institutional, legal and technical framework for managing and preserving the Guaraní Aquifer System for future generations".

Legal order

The Project is based on 7 components: I) expansion and consolidation of the scientific and technical knowledge of the Guarani Aquifer System;II) joint development and implementation of a management framework;III) strengthening public participation, social communication and environmental education;IV) evaluation, monitoring and dissemination of the results of the Project; V) development of appropriate aquifer management and mitigation measures in identified critical areas; VI) analysis of the geothermal potential of the aquifer; and VII) coordination and management for the implementation of the Project.

Legal order

The author thinks of three variables to analyse the case in question: - trust in legal institutions and confidence in legal norms. - reputation:I) with respect to sub-national governmental actors as well as sub-sectors of society; II) reputation of networks of municipalities and of the regulations that are enacted in governmental actors and networks. - reciprocity among social actors, understood as reacting positively to the equally positive behaviours of others, as a need to maintain a balance between what we give and what we receive.

Analysis of the case study

The Social Institutionalism and Mercosur Study Group, based at the Gino Germani Institute, conducted an online survey aimed at the municipalities that make up the Mercociudades network. A total of 32 responses were received and from the data obtained in the case of the variables of trust, reputation and reciprocity.




- Interesting degree of trust and reliability for the establishment of joint actions for asset management by Mercociudades Network municipalities; but at the same time : - the research process does not reveal any kind of connection or interrelation between the different Mercosur bodies, so that the Guarani Aquifer is still a kind of "sketch of intention".


- Calvento, M., & Rolandi, M. L. (2015). Reconfiguración de la Cooperación Sur-Sur en la región latinoamericana y la participación internacional de los actores subnacionales. Revista mexicana de ciencias políticas y sociales, 60(224), 315-348. - Ganganelli, M. L. (2007). La actividad internacional de los municipios: la Red de Mercociudades y el foro consultivo de municipios, provincias, estados federados y departamentos del MERCOSUR. Relaciones Internacionales.- Lucuix, M. B. (2015). El proceso de integración de municipios de la Red de Mercociudades. El caso del acuífero guaraní. Revista Aportes para la Integración Latinoamericana, (33), 33-52.- Mendioca, G. (2013). Las redes municipales y la gobernanza en la integración regional: la red mercociudades y la red andina de ciudades en perspectiva comparada. Documentos de trabajo, 69.- Mengo, R. I., & Pizarro, H. I. (2010). Mercociudades: un espacio de convergencia en el escenario internacional. In V Congreso de Relaciones Internacionales (La Plata, 2010). - Schvarzer, J. (2001). El Mercosur: un bloque económico con objetivos a precisar. Jerónimo Sierra (comp.), Los rostros del Mercosur. El difícil camino de lo comercial a lo societal, CLACSO, Buenos Aires, 21-43.


Bibliography consulted

Mengo, R. I., & Pizarro, H. I. (2010). Mercociudades: un espacio de convergencia en el escenario internacional. In V Congreso de Relaciones Internacionales (La Plata, 2010).

"Since its foundation, Mercociudades has shown a political and institutional evolution along two tracks. On the one hand, it developed and strengthened its character as a political association confronting the 'exclusionary' and 'presidentialist' orientation of national governments in MERCOSUR. On the other hand, it evolved as a horizontal network of cities with a clear sense of cooperation and exchange among its members based on the work of its Thematic Units".