Freed from the blockade policy of Venezuela, the Mercosur confederation is moving forward. The founding states – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – had decided almost a week ago to refuse to allow Venezuela to take over the rotating presidency of the bloc. On 19 September, Brazilian Foreign Minister José Serra announced that within one and a half or two years, an agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, which had always been delayed by Venezuela, would be signed. During a meeting with Brazilian head of state Michel Temer, on the eve of the UN General Assembly in New York, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez declared that he would do everything in his power to ease the tensions within Mercosur. Up until now, Mercosur member states have been prohibited from signing bilateral free trade agreements with third parties. This situation had led Uruguay and Paraguay to consider leaving the bloc.