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Parliamentary questions
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31 August 2016
E-006500-16
Question for written answer E-006500-16
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Lars Adaktusson (PPE)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Agreement on political dialogue and cooperation with Cuba
 Answer in writing 

The document signed by the EU and Cuba delegations in Havana in March 2016, containing a draft agreement on political dialogue and cooperation with Cuba, has not been made public. Local and international civil society organisations have not been invited to participate in its finalisation process.

The European External Action Service (EEAS) has claimed that releasing the text would ‘undermine the institutional decision-making process’ and ‘damage the EU’s relationship with Cuba’, but the EU Ombudsman has expressed the opinion that ‘the EEAS wrongly decided not to disclose the document’.

Not releasing the document to the public contrasts with procedures used in previous negotiations of a similar nature. It goes against the principles of transparency and participation. There is a danger that human rights considerations are subordinated to political interests.

1. What impact does the VP/HR envisage that this lack of consultation will have on civil society in Cuba, on the human rights situation and on the legitimacy of the EU as a partner for Cuban civil society?

2. Why would publishing the document, allowing a public debate in Cuba and Europe about the agreement, undermine the decision-making process in the EU and damage the EU’s relationship with Cuba?

3. What does the agreement say about human rights and democracy?

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