The Brazilian Federal Government's Role in the Prioritization of EU Foreign Direct Investment and its Environmental Agenda


Bras. Political Sci. Rev.




As a result of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the European Union (EU), the environmental governance structure in Brazil has been challenged, bringing to light a legal ambiguity in the ecological obligations between the EU and Brazil. The article hypothesizes that this legal ambiguity is caused by the complex political and legal system that characterizes the Brazilian governance structure. How does the Brazilian federal government, in its role as policymaker, balance its EU trade agenda? Can it be affirmed that the federal government's capacity as policymaker affects the political convergence between Brazil and the EU? This review will explain the mechanisms in the EU legal framework and its institutions regarding trade and the environment in the strategic relationship between the EU and Brazil. It will further analyze the decision-making process of the federal government as it relates to FDI and environmental policy in Brazil. The research design is based on an analysis of the EU legal framework, of Brazilian neoliberal economic strategy and domestic environmental policy, in order to demonstrate the convergence of political discourses from 2000 to 2013. The data indicates that the EU legal framework and the Brazilian domestic environmental policy put pressure on the federal government to take on the role of facilitator. The findings confirm the literature on the EU legal framework and its manipulation of Brazilian environmental policies. This review expands on these findings inasmuch as the Brazilian federal government allows for a convergence of policies and relationships around environmental obligations in trade thereby creating a stopgap for institutions to act toward environmental regulations.

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