First ever EU-Cuba deal backed
23 June, 2017
Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs gave last Tuesday their consent to the first ever EU-Cuba cooperation agreement, the EP press service reported. Having been negotiated since April 2014, this agreement will mark a turning point in bilateral relations and should contribute to improving living conditions and social rights of Cubans, MEPs said urging the US to lift its economic blockade on Cuba.
“With this vote the Parliament is giving its support to use dialogue and cooperation with Cuba as the best instrument to advance in a constructive and future-oriented relationship, beneficial for the citizens on both sides of the Atlantic,” rapporteur Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) said. Her report was approved in the Committee by 57 votes to 9, with 2 abstentions. The text will be put to a vote by Parliament plenary in July.
In general, the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba aims at expanding bilateral trade; promoting dialogue and economic cooperation; and developing a joint action in multilateral fora. According to MEPs, the Cuban government should align its human right policy with international standards and ratify the UN human rights conventions still pending.