South America comprises Regional Integration (RI) processes, including free movement, and it has been presented by many scholars as being the second most developed region in this regard at the global level, and as being comparable in some respects to the European experience. In this chapter we explore selected aspects of the free movement regime in MERCOSUR and the possible influence the EU might have had on them. By looking at the ideas and understandings of free movement that influenced policy outcomes in MERCOSUR, we will argue that while the first ‘generation’ of regulations shared some technical aspects, vocabulary and ideas deriving from the EU’s experiment, in the ‘second generation’ the policies in South America were ‘decoupled’ from the process of economic integration and did not take the EU as a reference at all. We then identify a third possible generation of policies in which some ‘European’ concepts and language are used - but with different meanings and understandings - by MERCOSUR policymaking actors.
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