Macron, under siege from French farmers who oppose the Mercosur trade accord, wants to raise the issue at an informal summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday, along with other grievances that have sparked a wave of rural protests across France.
Speaking in Sweden on Tuesday, Macron said he would discuss his concerns with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday. Among them, he said: “We need clarity on Mercosur, we ask that the deal should not be signed in its current shape.”
Hager played down speculation that it might be possible to shake hands on a deal that has been 20 years in the making at a World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi at the end of February that will be attended by EU trade ministers.
“There was no objective on our part, no view that we now have to close in Abu Dhabi,” Hager said during a reception at the Brussels representation of Germany’s state of Hesse. “You can always do that when it’s finished. But we are not finished. At the technical level we haven’t finished.”