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EU, Cuba landmark deal gets into force

THE European Union-Cuba landmark agreement has entered into force on a provisional basis. Before reaching an agreement on the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), Cuba was the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean region with which the EU had not yet agreed on a legal basis for dialogue and cooperation.

On Wednesday, the EU announced a new chapter in EU-Cuba relations with the start of provisional application of the first ever agreement between the European Union and Cuba – the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

“The EU and Cuba are truly turning a page, and the new chapter of our partnership begins now – with the provisional application of our new agreement. Today [November 1] the European Union gets closer to Cuba and all Cuban citizens as the country goes through economic, political and social modernisation,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President Federica Mogherini. “We Europeans are tied to Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean by a shared history, culture, values, and aspirations for the present and the future.”

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) comprises three main chapters on political dialogue, cooperation and sector policy dialogue as well as trade cooperation.

It promotes dialogue and cooperation to encourage sustainable development, democracy and human rights, as well as to find shared solutions to global challenges through joint action in multilateral fora. Areas of common interest include for example renewable energies, rural development, the environment, human rights, good governance, security, and job creation. Activities will be conducted with all actors in Cuba, including the public sector, local authorities, the whole range of civil society, the private sector, as well as international organisations and their agencies.

On December 12, 2016, the EU and Cuba signed the PDCA, and the European Parliament approved it on July 5, 2017. While most of the agreement started provisionally applying on November 1, its full application would begin once all EU member States have ratified the agreement.

According to the EU, the agreement also confirmed the blocs continued engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean.

Cuba was the only country in the region with which the EU had not yet agreed on a legal basis for dialogue and cooperation.

Between 1996 and 2016, the diplomatic relations between Cuba and the EU – first established in 1988 – were limited by the so-called Common Position. In an effort to update EU-Cuba relations, the EU re-launched a dialogue at political level in 2008, complemented by development assistance. On December 12, 2016, the repeal of the Common Position and the signature of the PDCA between the EU and Cuba set the stage for a new impetus in EU-Cuba relations.

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