EU-Cuba relations enter "historic" new era with landmark agreement

HRVP in a previous visit to CubaHRVP in a previous visit to Cuba

The second visit of Federica Mogherini to Cuba saw her initializing a landmark EU-Cuba "Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement" covering political dialogue, cooperation and trade. After the agreement Mogherini said : "this is a historic step in our relations, this bilateral agreement marks the beginning of a new phase." Afterwards, she had a three hour meeting with President Raul Castro.

After the signing of the agreement at a press conference with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriquez, she said :"this was an important opportunity to exchange views, develop a better understanding for each other, and enabling us to find common solutions to issues of mutual interest. We have addressed our bilateral relations, regional issues in the Cuban and EU vicinity and global matters of mutual concern, such as migration."

"Regarding bilateral relations, we have spoken about the situation in the EU, confronted with economic challenges, instability and violence in our closest neighbourhood, the refugee crisis and the fight against terrorism. And we have also talked about the situation in Cuba, the difficult economic situation and the modernisation process it is facing", she underlined.

On the setting of a date and venue for the second human rights dialogue Mogherini reminded: "a year ago, Foreign Minister Rodriguez and I agreed on launching a dedicated Human Rights dialogue to exchange views on this important and sensitive area. We wanted to develop our mutual understanding, and sound out possibilities for cooperation. This is destined to become an important part of the new PDCA framework."

The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, she went on, "will mark the beginning of a new phase of the bilateral relations. This contractual arrangement is a landmark demonstration of the improved mutual trust and understanding between us. It creates a clear framework for intensified political dialogue, and a platform for developing joint action and cooperation on global matters in multinational fora."

In a meeting with Marino Murillo, the Cuban Minister of Economy and Planning, Mogherini told him that "the EU was willing to extend expand economic relations. The "good intentions are there, the political framework is there and the cooperation framework is there" she said.

The visit to Cuba began with Federica Mogherini and Neven Mimica (Commissioner for International cooperation and Development) holding a meeting with Ambassadors of EU countries which are represented in Cuba.

The EU –Cuba Joint Declaration vows to "enable to consolidate the relations between Cuba and the European Union in the medium and long-term, a relation based on reciprocity, respect and mutual benefit." It goes on to say "both parties expressed satisfaction on the results achieved in the negotiating process. The Agreement includes fundamental components such as political dialogue, cooperation, and dialogue on sectorial policies, as well as trade and cooperation in trade matters."

EU-Cuba cooperation was resumed in October 2008 and since then the EU has made available around €140 million for cooperation to Cuba which has helped rebuild after devastating hurricanes, tackle food security as well as projects which help alleviate the effects of climate change, boost renewable energy, culture and education. The talks on the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement started in April 2014 



Remarks by Federica Mogherini t the Joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez, in La Havana

Joint Declaration at the Initialing Ceremony of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the European Union