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Cuba – EU Relations

EU-Cuba relations :

a new chapter begins
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
31 p.
Category: 
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba, endorsed by the European Parliament (EP) on 5 July 2017, opens a new phase in EU-Cuba relations. Until now Cuba was the only country in Latin America without a cooperation or political dialogue agreement with the EU. The PDCA creates a framework for political dialogue and closer bilateral cooperation, including in trade. The parts of the agreement (mostly related to cooperation and trade issues) that fall within EU competence can already be applied provisionally, but the agreement will only enter into force in full after it has been ratified in all the EU Member States.
Since negotiations on the PDCA began in 2014, Cuba’s relations with the EU and individual Member States have intensified considerably. For the EU, the PDCA is a tool for supporting a process of change and modernisation in Cuba, while for Cuba it represents the ‘normalisation’ of the relationship with an important economic and trade partner and helps it to diversify its external relations.
Parliament will focus, in monitoring the implementation of the PDCA, on two areas of particular concern to the EP: human rights and civil liberties on Cuba, and the role of Cuban civil society.

International Agreements in Progress :

EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement
City: 
Brussels
Volume, number, page: 
8 p.
Considered Countries: 
Abstract: 
Cuba is the only Latin American country to have no bilateral agreement with the EU. Between 1996 and December 2016, relations between the EU and Cuba were governed by the 1996 Common Position, which subordinated cooperation and the conclusion of any bilateral agreement to the achievement of visible progress in the field of democracy and human rights on the island. Nevertheless, political dialogue and cooperation were re-launched in 2008, following a leadership change in the country, and in February 2014 negotiating directives for a bilateral EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement were adopted by the Council. After seven rounds of negotiation, the agreement together with the proposal for its conclusion was published by the Commission on 25 November 2016, and the agreement was signed on 12 December 2016. Its three main chapters concern political dialogue, cooperation and sectoral policy dialogue, and trade and trade cooperation. Human rights remain a contentious issue.
The agreement has been submitted to the European Parliament for consent to its conclusion. The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted a recommendation to give consent and an accompanying report on 20 June 2017; these are due to be voted during the July 2017 plenary session. The agreement also needs to be ratified by the EU's Member States.

The European Union’s Latin America policy

A study of Foreign Policy Change and Coordination
City: 
London
Volume, number, page: 
302 p.
Category: 
Abstract: 
This thesis explores the evolution of the European Union’s (EU) Latin America policy through an analysis of factors internal to the EU’s foreign policy decision-making system. Its policy towards the region has changed in important ways over time and appears to have come to be more and more incoherent. Adapting existing Foreign Policy Analysis frameworks to the specific context of the EU’s foreign policy, this thesis seeks to understand how factors of bureaucratic politics shape the EU’s foreign policy towards third actors. It is hypothesized that where an analytical perspective which evaluates the EU’s increased policy incoherence towards Latin America as the result of rational decision-making is not satisfactory, bureaucratic politics need to be considered instead. Under this perspective, the EU’s policy incoherence is influenced by policy inertia arising out of previous commitments, the divergence of views between different internal EU actors, the autonomy of these to take decisions without prior consultation or coordination with others, and lastly the complexity and duration of EU foreign policy decision-making processes themselves. This research framework is then applied empirically by analysing the EU’s negotiations for international agreements with partners in the Latin American
region, and particularly those with regional organizations since the 1990s. This thesis finds that despite attempts to strengthen foreign policy coordination and coherence in the EU over time, the coherence of its Latin America policy has indeed been affected by bureaucratic politics arising out of factors such as changes to the internal organization of the European Commission or the disruption of established coordination mechanisms
through the Treaty of Lisbon. The findings contribute to our understanding of the evolution of EU-Latin American relations, on-going debates on the study of interregionalism, as well as more generally to the literature on EU foreign policy-making.
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