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Tisdagen den 12 april 2016 - Strasbourg Reviderad upplaga

16. Avtal om politisk dialog och samarbete mellan EU och Kuba (debatt)
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  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest oświadczenie Wiceprzewodniczącej Komisji i Wysokiej Przedstawiciel Unii do Spraw Zagranicznych i Polityki Bezpieczeństwa w sprawie umowy o dialogu politycznym i współpracy UE–Kuba (2016/2651(RSP)).


  Federica Mogherini, Vice—President of the Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Mr President, last time we discussed Cuba and Latin America in this Parliament, I well remember that I told you that in a world that is changing – and especially in Latin America and in Cuba – Europe will not watch from the sidelines, and we did not. March was a historic month for Cuba, and we were there. Europe was there. My visit to Havana, the second of my mandate as High Representative, preceded by a week the historic visit President Obama paid to the island and also another historic event, which was the Rolling Stones concert. That cannot be underestimated for an island like Cuba.

We have been there as a driving force for change. In March we initiated the first ever agreement between the EU and Cuba. Our relations with Cuba have always continued, in good and in difficult times, although over the last decade we have had difficult moments.

Our starting point was – and still is – much more positive than that of our friends in the United States. The political dialogue and cooperation agreement we have initialled is totally unprecedented. It touches on the broadest set of issues, from political dialogue to economic cooperation, from sustainable development to our cooperation in multilateral fora, from the protection of the environment to human rights. This moment marks the beginning of a completely new era in our relations with Cuba.

Cuba has been changing, slowly but continuously, for a number of years now. On regional and international affairs, our cooperation has already been constructive for quite some time now. I think, in particular, of Cuba’s role in hosting talks between the Colombian Government and the FARC, which we followed very closely. I remember that we had a debate about that very recently.

We can only look forward to expanding our cooperation on these matters. But change is happening inside Cuba as well. Over the past few years, the European Union has started to discuss how to accompany Cuba’s evolution. We have a choice to make: should we wait for more structural changes or should we make our voice heard right now, as a friend and partner of the Cuban people, through active engagement and dialogue?

The new agreement answers this question. We can now accompany more decisively the process of reforming the Cuban economy and society, fostering sustainable development, democracy and human rights as a trusted and reliable partner, as the Cubans see the Europeans.

Since my political dialogue meeting with Foreign Minister Rodríguez last year, we have jointly agreed to give human rights dialogue a head start. This format has now been formally set up by the political dialogue and cooperation agreement we initialled in Cuba last month.

But the process was launched before the agreement was even finalised, and the next human rights dialogue will take place at the end of May in Havana. We were able to announce it while initiating the agreement. In the first meeting of the human rights dialogue, which took place last year in Brussels, we touched upon the respective situation of human rights and recent developments, both in the EU and Cuba. Let me say that it was a very constructive and very frank exchange of views, and a useful one.

Let me conclude with a note on the work ahead. We now have to go through our internal process to ensure the swift signing and ratification of the agreement. Parliament will have a part to play in this when the time comes, and I hope it will not be too far away.

The signature of the agreement will also mark the end of the EU’s 1996 common position as the Union’s instrument defining its external relations with Cuba. As you are aware, the common position had already envisaged the perspective of a bilateral agreement. This has now been accomplished, setting a new framework for our relationship. So it is time we finally developed a partnership that reflects our shared history, serves our interests in the present day and helps us build a future that is shared.

For this reason, in parallel to the process leading to the signature of the agreement, I will propose a Council decision to formally repeal the common position. This agreement benefits Cuba and benefits Europe. Let me be even clearer: it benefits the Cubans and it benefits the Europeans, because this is the nature of all good friendships. I am sure we will be able to count on your support in this new phase of our common history.

To sum up, it means enhancing EU relations with Cuba, effectively accompanying the modernisation and reform process on the island, promoting democracy and human rights and finding common solutions to global challenges. The path of more engagement in the framework of the future agreement is the most effective one.


  Francisco José Millán Mon, en nombre del Grupo PPE. Señor Presidente, gracias, señora Mogherini, por la información que nos ha facilitado sobre el Acuerdo de diálogo político y cooperación con Cuba. Quiero darle la enhorabuena por la conclusión del Acuerdo. La Unión Europea y Cuba se dotan así de un instrumento, de un marco bilateral, como usted decía, para avanzar en el desarrollo de sus relaciones.

Cuba está en un momento muy importante en el plano internacional. El giro reciente de sus relaciones con los Estados Unidos tiene alcance histórico, pero el país está, también en el plano interno, en una etapa crucial por razones bien conocidas. Con el Acuerdo, la Unión Europea podrá afianzar, consolidar su presencia en Cuba y podrá así influir más en el proceso de cambio que el país está experimentando.

A través del marco de cooperación y diálogo que supone el Acuerdo, la Unión Europea podrá, como usted misma ha dicho, estimular el proceso de reformas que vive el país, al tiempo que defiende los intereses y valores europeos. En este sentido, también yo quiero subrayar la inclusión en el Acuerdo del respeto de los derechos humanos y libertades fundamentales, recogiendo un diálogo específico sobre esta materia. Señora Mogherini, usted conoce el compromiso de esta Cámara con los derechos humanos y nuestra convicción de que se trata de derechos universales que todos los Estados, también Cuba, deben respetar.


  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, en nombre del Grupo S&D. Señor Presidente, yo quería empezar felicitando a la señora Mogherini, primero, porque su trabajo está poniendo a América Latina en el radar de la política exterior europea y esto es algo que agradecemos, porque durante muchos años no había sido así. Segundo, por la valentía que ha demostrado al superar la Posición Común que durante quince años ha bloqueado las relaciones de Europa con Cuba y firmar un acuerdo que yo considero muy importante.

Cuba es un país pequeño, lo sabemos, pero es un país muy importante, −usted lo ha dicho. El ver a Obama hace unos días ahí se debe, en gran parte, a que los Estados Unidos quieren cambiar su rol, su imagen, ante el resto de América Latina, pero también a que se está negociando la paz en Colombia. Es un país que tiene una gran irradiación hacia América Latina. Y por eso creo que a Cuba tenemos que empezar a tratarla ya con la importancia que tiene en nuestra política internacional.

Algunos —hoy lo oiremos aquí también— seguirán pensando que Cuba es una revolución triunfante; otros dirán que es una odiosa dictadura en la que no hay derechos humanos. Yo creo que los dos arquetipos son extremos y falsean la realidad de un país que está cambiando mucho. Esto es lo que me parece importante destacar. Los viejos arquetipos ya no valen para un mundo en cambio. Tampoco para una Cuba en cambio profundo. Y, ciertamente, el problema era qué hacía Europa en esa posición. ¿Quedarse fuera, quedarse aislada, quedarse en la vieja posición o ponerse al frente de una nueva política de amistad con Cuba?

Yo creo que hay cuatro cosas muy importantes que podemos hacer. En primer lugar, cambiar la etapa de lo que hemos llamado Posición Común por una etapa de colaboración económica, política y comercial que este acuerdo nos permite plantearnos. En segundo lugar, ayudar al pueblo cubano. Ayudar al pueblo, al pueblo cubano, con inversiones, con empresas, con economía de mercado, con cooperación, con tecnología. En tercer lugar, entender que de esto vendrán libertades, democracia y derechos humanos, que yo también quiero para los cubanos. Pero llegarán, probablemente, con la apertura, con Internet, con las telecomunicaciones, con la ciudadanía que va a llegar. Y, a partir de ahí, respetar una cosa muy importante y es que es el pueblo cubano quien debe decidir su futuro.


  Bas Belder, namens de ECR-Fractie. In de aanloop naar dit debat heb ik verschillende Cuba- kenners geraadpleegd. Evenals ik staan ze allen positief tegenover samenwerking tussen de EU en Cuba, míts deze zich niet tot het regime beperkt, maar evenzeer de civil society insluit! Dat wil ik onderstrepen! Juist over dat laatste hoorde ik kritische geluiden, ook in mijn land, richting de EU, van mensen die Cuba door en door kennen. Wie de schoen past, mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, trekke die aan.

Als lid van de protestantse gemeenschap in Nederland, die al vele jaren nauwe banden onderhoudt met de Cubaanse kerk en christenen, dring ik er tevens bij de hoge vertegenwoordiger op aan de Cubaanse autoriteiten rechtstreeks en bij voortduur aan te spreken op concrete eerbiediging van de godsdienst en geloofsvrijheid op eigen grondgebied. Deze vrijheid sluit om te beginnen een systeem uit van regeringsinformanten en verklikkers in kerkelijke samenkomsten en gemeenten. Dat is heel belangrijk, want er heerst gewoon een angstsfeer en dat zegt veel over het regime. Laten wij het dus alsjeblieft niet laten bij een façade die cosmetisch is in plaats van realiteit. Want dan zonnen wij ons in de verkeerde richting.


  Pavel Telička, on behalf of the ALDE Group. Mr President, first of all I would like to express my view that the policy of the Europeans and the Americans in the past decades has failed. This was not a successful policy, and I welcome the fact that we have managed to agree on an agreement that is a ‘driving force for change’ – and I would underline the word ‘change’.

I am not sure that what we have seen in recent weeks – people being imprisoned and acts similar to that – are the change. I wonder: what is for you the objective of changing that agreement? As politicians we should have an objective. I would appreciate it if you could comment on that. The people that I tend to talk to do not feel that the changes are really occurring. It is not even that they are occurring slowly; they are not occurring. Maybe I am ill-informed. I would like to learn more. In fact, the ALDE Presidency delegation, which is to go to Cuba, has been waiting for weeks and weeks to get an answer from the Cuban authorities as to whether it will be welcome or not. I wonder whether this is also a sign of change. I see Cuban diplomats are hopefully taking note of that fact.

Am I right in saying that there is a provision in the agreement that we will not intervene in the domestic affairs of Cuba? I am not quoting now, but what is the meaning and your interpretation of that phrasing?

So we need a dialogue for sure, a change for sure, but we really need to see change. We will, as you have said, be debating the agreement here. We want to see the conditionality implemented. I would appreciate your comments on the questions that I have posed.


  Σοφία Σακοράφα, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κύριοι συνάδελφοι, εξ αρχής είχα εκφράσει τη βαθειά μου πεποίθηση ότι η συμφωνία συνεργασίας και πολιτικού διαλόγου αποτελούσε ισχυρό πλαίσιο ανάπτυξης ισότιμων σχέσεων μεταξύ Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και Κούβας. Είχα τονίσει ότι αυτή η κοινή προσπάθεια πρέπει να διέπεται από τις αρχές της αμοιβαιότητας και συνεργασίας, χωρίς όρους και διακρίσεις.

Η κοινή θέση της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, παρόλο που στην πράξη ήταν ανενεργής, αποτελούσε ουσιαστικό εμπόδιο καθώς παραβιάζει την αρχή της μη επέμβασης στις εσωτερικές υποθέσεις των κρατών. Χαίρομαι που η κ. Mogherini ανακοίνωσε την πρόθεσή της για ανάκληση της κοινής θέσης.

Ο αποκλεισμός της Κούβας από τις ΗΠΑ για εξήντα χρόνια ήταν μια εγκληματική συμπεριφορά απέναντι στο λαό της και η άρση του πρέπει να ολοκληρωθεί άμεσα. Αξίζει να σημειώσω ότι η αποκλεισμένη Κούβα, παρέχει καθολική δημόσια δωρεάν παιδεία με εντυπωσιακά επιστημονικά αποτελέσματα, παρέχει δωρεάν καθολική υγειονομική περίθαλψη κι έχει τους καλύτερους δείκτες σε όλες τις βαθμίδες και είναι πρωτοπόρος στους τομείς της πρόληψης και διαρκούς έρευνας στο φαρμακευτικό και ιατρικό πεδίο.

Τονίζω τα παραπάνω, γιατί πιστεύω ότι η επίσπευση της ολοκλήρωσης και υπογραφής της συμφωνίας θα είναι αναντίρρητα προς το συμφέρον και των δύο πλευρών. Ελπίζω, σύντομα, τα πρώτα θετικά αποτελέσματα να γίνουν ορατά για τον κουβανικό λαό που ακόμα και κάτω από τις πιο δύσκολες συνθήκες δεν εγκατέλειψε, ούτε μια στιγμή, την αξιοπρέπεια και το δικαίωμά του να αποφασίζει αυτός για τη ζωή του και τη χώρα του!


  Ernest Urtasun, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. Señor Presidente, señora Alta Representante, en primer lugar, también yo me sumo a las felicitaciones, porque creo que ha desempeñado usted un papel muy positivo para poder superar una situación profundamente injusta: la situación creada a partir de la Posición Común adoptada hace ya quince años y que ha impedido que la Unión Europea y Cuba puedan tener una relación normal entre dos pueblos vecinos que deben cooperar. Por lo tanto, la felicito.

Creo que no debemos considerar este acuerdo un punto de llegada, sino un punto de partida. Queda mucho por hacer y creo que la diplomacia europea puede aún hacer mucho ayudando, por ejemplo, a que termine de una vez el bloqueo, a que se deroguen algunas leyes norteamericanas, como la Ley Helms-Burton del año 1996, que debe ser derogada; queda mucho por hacer. Y, sobre todo, creo que la Unión Europea no debe, en ningún caso, considerar esta nueva relación como una manera de ganar a los Estados Unidos o de estar a su mismo nivel en una carrera comercial; no es eso. Se trata de ayudar, de tener nuevas relaciones y de poner todos los instrumentos que podamos para ayudar a la economía cubana a desarrollarse, y creo que eso es muy importante hoy, así que nada más: felicitarla y ¡adelante!


  Davor Ivo Stier (PPE). Gospodine predsjedniče, gospođo potpredsjednice Mogherini, u dinamičnom svijetu u kojem živimo svjedočimo novoj podjeli karata, a u toj podjeli je očito da se Kuba postupno, ali sigurno reintegrira u političke i ekonomske strukture zapadne hemisfere jer naravno SAD ima dominantnu poziciju.

Ta činjenica međutim ne znači da moramo zanemariti odnose koje povijesno vežu Kubu s Europom. U tom kontekstu Sporazum o političkom dijalogu i suradnji pruža okvir za razvoj tih odnosa u raznim dimenzijama. Uloga Europe mora i dalje biti promicanje ljudskih prava i njihovo poštivanje, što, nažalost, još nije slučaj na Kubi. Ne želimo i ne smijemo zaboraviti dobitnike Saharove nagrade, političke disidente i političke zatvorenike, a njih i dalje ima na Kubi.

Jednako važno je da u postupnom otvaranju kubanske ekonomije koristi od tog otvaranja ne budu samo za vladajuću elitu „castrizma”, kao što je često bio slučaj u postkomunističkim društvima u istočnoj Europi. To su neki elementi koje europska potpora tranzicijskom procesu na Kubi mora uzeti u obzir, ali Europa u svakom slučaju mora biti prisutna i angažirana.


  Pina Picierno (S&D). Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, grazie naturalmente anche all'Alto rappresentante Mogherini per le sue parole, ma anche, come è stato riconosciuto da tutti i colleghi, per l'impegno puntuale, preciso, importante che ha messo nel buon esito delle negoziazioni tra l'Unione europea e Cuba.

Io, colleghi, credo che non si possa negare che Cuba abbia fatto passi importanti negli ultimi vent'anni, direi che molti dei progressi compiuti hanno una portata storica, così come storica è la firma dell'accordo a Cuba dello scorso 11 marzo. Ancora molto deve essere fatto, naturalmente, ma possiamo dire con certezza che la strada intrapresa è quella giusta e faremo di tutto per mantenerla.

Credo che la posizione comune sia stata ormai palesemente superata, devono essere superate molte cose, è stato citato già l'embargo e io confido che quella misura che per troppo tempo ha punito il popolo cubano vada superata. Mi vengono in mente le parole di Giovanni Paolo II che diceva che nessuna nazione può vivere da sola, ecco, credo che noi siamo qui per essere sinceramente vicini al popolo cubano e il lavoro presentato dall'Alto rappresentante ci dà speranza per un futuro migliore per Cuba e per le relazioni con l'Europa.


  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). Señor Presidente, quiero felicitar a la señora Mogherini y al Servicio Europeo de Acción Exterior por la firma del Acuerdo de diálogo político y cooperación, que coloca las relaciones entre Cuba y la Unión Europea en otra dimensión. Un proceso que responde al deseo y a las demandas de la sociedad civil.

Este Acuerdo, que se rige por los principios de reciprocidad, respeto y beneficio mutuo, permitirá superar la trasnochada Posición Común de 1996. Nos permitirá normalizar relaciones y profundizar en el diálogo político, la cooperación o la colaboración en políticas sectoriales y comercio, pero sin olvidar el ámbito de los derechos fundamentales, las libertades y la democracia en una isla en la que todavía los defensores de los derechos humanos y la oposición son perseguidos y arrestados.

Cuba merece un futuro mejor. Dispone de enormes potencialidades para aplicar un modelo de desarrollo sostenible con capital humano de personas formadas. Un patrimonio que hay que reconocer en la historia reciente de la isla y que va a ser fundamental en esta apertura. Cuba merece, también, el fin del embargo y celebro que la Unión Europea considere ilegales los efectos que esta medida tiene en las empresas europeas. Y subrayo que este paso histórico ha sido propiciado en femenino, por una Alta Representante que se gana cada día mi respeto y mi admiración. Muchas gracias, señora Mogherini.


  Jarosław Wałęsa (PPE). Mr President, I believe that this agreement is not only going to boost economic cooperation and exchanges between Cuba and the EU, but it will also contribute to updating the Cuban economy and society. I firmly believe that allocating a certain amount of money will have a substantial effect on the development of the island. It will enable the modernisation of the country in order to achieve a sustainable agricultural sector and the use of natural resources, such as water, in a more efficient and more focused way.

But the most important thing for me – the most sensitive matter for me – remains the same. It is the human rights dialogue. It is our prerogative to ensure that the everyday lives of the Cuban people and society as a whole will be positively affected by this agreement. In recent years I have had the honour and privilege of meeting Cuban dissidents who fight daily for their freedom and democratic change. I hope that because of this agreement we will get closer to making a positive and peaceful change, as once happened in Poland as well.


  Norbert Neuser (S&D). Herr Präsident, verehrte Hohe Vertreterin! Auch von meiner Seite Glückwunsch zu dem Abkommen! Ich will aber auch ausdrücklich die EU-Delegation in Havanna mit einbeziehen, die über Jahre eine vertrauensvolle Arbeit gemacht und mit dafür gesorgt hat, dass wir jetzt zu diesem Abkommen gelangt sind.

Es geht jetzt um Dialog und Zusammenarbeit, die haben Priorität. Aber wir müssen permanent erwähnen, dass es die Blockade weiterhin gibt, und die Blockade ist ein entscheidendes Hindernis. Unsere Position als EU muss klar sein: Wir akzeptieren nicht, dass europäische Unternehmen bestraft werden. Deswegen: Die Blockade muss weg, weil sie nicht den Menschen dient und weil sie die kubanische Gesellschaft nicht nach vorne bringt.

Zu den Menschenrechten: Wir haben hier genügend Organisationen, mit denen wir kooperieren können. Und als Letztes – ich habe gemerkt, wenn man vom Papst spricht, bekommt man die Redezeit verlängert – noch zur Rolle der katholischen Kirche: Ich glaube, die spielt eine ganz entscheidende Rolle. Nicht zuletzt hat der gegenwärtige Papst zweimal in der letzten Zeit Kuba besucht und viel dafür getan, Kuba zu öffnen.


Pytania z sali


  Brian Hayes (PPE). Mr President, I would like to briefly congratulate and compliment the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who has made sterling efforts in recent times, especially to focus on the relationship between the EU and Cuba.

I think it is fair to say that we are now entering a new relationship with Cuba. We have been ahead of the United States of America since 2008, and I very much welcome, as the High Representative has said, the engagement by President Obama and his administration in opening up the relationship between the United States and Cuba. It is only through engagement that we can argue for our values, human rights and democracy. It is not by shutting people out or shutting the door of cooperation with Cuba.

I believe that this agreement has the potential, for us at least, to highlight those European values on the world stage. We should not forget the important trading links between Cuba and the EU; the EU remains Cuba’s main export partner. Each year, as we have engaged, our trade with Cuba has gone up exponentially, and I suspect that that will continue into the near future. We should also be proud of the fact that parts of our development aid programme and our expertise programme, especially for young Cuban students and for public officials, is something that we should be proud of.


  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, συζητούμε για τη συμφωνία που υπογράφτηκε πρόσφατα ανάμεσα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και την Κούβα με σκοπό την εξομάλυνση των μεταξύ τους σχέσεων. Ήδη από τον Απρίλιο του 2014 είχαν ξεκινήσει διαπραγματεύσεις στα πλαίσια του πολιτικού διαλόγου, με στόχο να ανοίξει ο δρόμους για τη σύναψη οικονομικών σχέσεων ανάμεσα στα είκοσι οκτώ κράτη μέλη της Ένωσης και της Κούβας.

Στα πλαίσια της συμφωνίας, εκτός από το εμπόριο και τον πολιτικό διάλογο, γίνεται λόγος επίσης και για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα στην Κούβα. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πιέζει την Κούβα να υπογράψει διεθνείς συμφωνίες.

Τη στιγμή, βέβαια, που η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση υποδείκνυε στην Κούβα προτάσεις για την προστασία των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, η ίδια καταπατούσε καθημερινά τα δικαιώματα των χωρών της Ένωσης που τέθηκαν σε μνημόνια, επιβάλλοντας έτσι πολιτικές βίαιης δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής και λιτότητας και φτωχοποιώντας όλο και περισσότερο αυτούς τους ευρωπαϊκούς λαούς.

Θα πρέπει, επομένως, Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να εκμεταλλευτεί την οικονομική συνεργασία με την Κούβα, χωρίς όμως να επεμβαίνει πολιτικά στη χώρα, η οποία πλήττεται εδώ και πενήντα έξι χρόνια από το εμπάργκο των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών.


  Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL). Señor Presidente, acabamos de escuchar en esta Cámara a diputados y diputadas que tienen la desvergüenza de hablar de derechos humanos en Cuba a la vez que aplauden las deportaciones de refugiados y refugiadas a Turquía, o avalan las políticas que han llevado a que miles de refugiados y refugiadas se hayan ahogado en el Mediterráneo, o callan ante las violaciones de derechos humanos en Guantánamo.

Respecto a la Posición Común de la Unión Europea sobre Cuba, esa Posición Común impulsada por el señor Aznar, que consagró la hostilidad de la Unión Europea respecto a la República de Cuba, es hoy por hoy, y a pesar de los avances en el Acuerdo de diálogo político y cooperación, el principal obstáculo para avanzar en las relaciones con Cuba. Esa Posición Común, discriminatoria y caduca, se debe rectificar y debe ser eliminada totalmente para que las relaciones Unión Europea-Cuba puedan ser satisfactorias.


(Koniec pytań z sali)


  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Council/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Mr President, first of all, you were asking about the political objective. Both in my introductory words but also hearing the debate tonight, it is quite clear what it is: it is to engage with an interlocutor, coming out from the common position to encourage and accompany a process that is happening in Cuba – inside the country and with the outside world, starting from the United States, but also with others in the region and beyond – to try to accompany this process in the best possible way.

Here the European Union has a special role to play. We are not in competition with the Americans. The United States has a different kind of history of relations with Cuba that we do not have. It has a different kind of geography that probably, in perspective, makes relations with the island potentially huge. We are far away, but our history is much more solid. We have a people-to-people exchange with the Cuban people – as Europeans – that is and always has been in place, even during decades of difficult times.

So I believe that, whether it is for the work that we can do on trade or the work that we can do on the development of different forms of small and medium enterprises, cooperatives or small economic steps of change, the role of the European Union – because of the structure of our society, our economy and our social system – can be of great help in the transition, the transformation, the changes and the process of reforms that Cuba is potentially entering into.

This is an open debate in Cuba. If I am not wrong, the party congress is taking place in a few weeks. We need to have a respectful stand. You mentioned that we make reference to the fact that we have a process of non—interference. This is the basis of our relationship with all countries in the world. We do not interfere in internal processes, but we have our consistent, coherent, strong and principled positions on many different issues. There are issues where we see space for cooperation and mutual benefit. There are issues where we know very well that we are very distant in our positions, but there are fields where we can work together, accompanying a process that Cuba is starting and making sure that there can be a European – whether businesses, churches, NGOs, tourists, entrepreneurs – common framework that can be beneficial for Europeans and for Cubans.

I mentioned the work of the small and medium enterprises and cooperatives. The field of telecommunications is huge and potentially very beneficial. Our experts are working in Cuba, advising the different ministries on the different sectors of reform – even very technical kind of work – because there is a certain level of understanding and trust between our people that has never been interrupted throughout history. Again, with student exchanges or people-to-people contact, I can see a lot of benefits. So we do have a fundamental role as the European Union.

Regarding something that you mentioned, namely the blockade: our position has always been very clear. I have stated it again, publicly and in our meetings, both in Cuba and with our American friends. We consider this policy as counterproductive, as it is also affecting European economic interests in a serious way. We know very well that the administration in the United States stands exactly where we do, but Congress does not, so we need to see how the Americans will work on that.

Human rights will stay crucial and central in our dialogue, and let me stress that the European Union and Cuba have a human rights dialogue. We have already had the first round of it and we are going to have a second round in Cuba in early June or at the end of May in Havana. We are fixing the date. This is something the Americans do not have. This is precisely because we have a certain level of confidence in each other, and respect. We are engaging in this dialogue, as well as in other dialogues, with a constructive approach. It is frank, because we know very well that there are issues where we do not agree, but with the idea that engaging is always better than not talking.

Lastly, regarding the role of the Parliament: this process is just a starting point. We have initialled the agreement. This means that we have finalised the negotiations. We have no open points on our table. I would also thank our delegation in Cuba, the negotiating team – which has been working in an excellent way – and also the Cuban negotiating team. Obviously they had their own position to defend, but they engaged very constructively. I can tell you that seeing experienced officials and diplomats, at the moment when we were signalling the agreement, moved after years of negotiations was something quite special, even for someone who has been working on diplomacy for so many years.

Your role will be key when we come to the ratification of the agreement. We have signalled it. We have to sign it, which means, as you know, going through translation into all our languages and all the internal processes, and then we will come to ratification for this Parliament. At that time I will come back to you and ask for swift ratification, because even the overcoming of the common position is linked, as we will proceed in parallel to this advancement process. So a lot of work has been done, but still part of the political work has to be done, and I count on your engagement and support in those steps when they come.


  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 162)


  João Pimenta Lopes (GUE/NGL), por escrito. Este momento confirma a soberana e livre decisão do Povo cubano de afirmar as suas conquistas e a sua justa aspiração a construir uma sociedade progressista, liberta do espartilho opressor do embargo a que há 50 anos resiste heroicamente. Um bloqueio que constitui uma inaceitável violação dos direitos humanos e do direito internacional, e cujo fim se exige.

A resistência, a persistência e a coragem do povo cubano têm permitido que este país, apesar dos constrangimentos económicos que lhes coloca o bloqueio, alcance progressos que em outros países não existem, como, por exemplo, no direito à educação ou no direito à saúde.

O acordo que a UE e Cuba ratificaram há precisamente um mês representa um passo que poderá contribuir para a queda do bloqueio. Foi afirmado pela UE como um marco para o fim da Posição Comum de 1996, que assenta numa política discriminatória e caduca que exige uma revogação sem mais adiamentos. Declarações que exigem a rápida tomada de posição do Conselho para a sua revogação formal.

O diálogo com Cuba deve prosseguir despido de qualquer postura de ingerência e interferência, assente no absoluto respeito pela soberania daquele país e do seu povo e do seu direito inalienável de decidir do seu futuro.


  Elena Valenciano (S&D), por escrito. En el Parlamento Europeo los socialistas hemos trabajado durante dos décadas para que la Unión Europea abandonase la conocida como «posición común» que impedía relaciones con Cuba. Esa posición común de 1996 fue una iniciativa de la derecha española y buscaba aislar más a Cuba. Un cambio en la actitud de Estados Unidos provoca ahora mayor disponibilidad general hacia esas relaciones. Para los socialistas no se trata de sumarse a una moda. Se trata de trabajar todos juntos, para: • Que culmine antes de que acabe el año la firma y la ratificación del Acuerdo de Diálogo Político y Cooperación entre la UE y Cuba terminada en marzo pasado. • Y convencer a Estados Unidos de América de que levante el bloqueo, y permita a Cuba tener relaciones económicas y comerciales como cualquier otro país. Y ello porque deseamos un crecimiento de esas relaciones económicas y que puedan producirse con normalidad los intercambios de todo tipo, el trabajo conjunto de las universidades, los científicos, las empresas, hasta el punto de que la Unión Europea se vea convertida en un actor real de la mejora de la situación en la isla.

Rättsligt meddelande - Integritetspolicy