This paper aims at identifying ways to pursue the EU–Mercosul negotiations leading to a free trade agreement (FTA). After reviewing their already long history, it outlines a basic framework, in goods, services and other themes, judged possible. The main point is that, given the prevailing conditions on both sides, an agreement to be signed within a reasonable time must be modest, i.e. along the described lines. It then clearly sets up the decisions confronting the negotiators: either to pursue the modest, feasible option or to terminate negotiations under the FTA heading.