- U-turn in bilateral relations
- Opposition to measures with extraterritorial effects
- Respect of Human Rights needs to be improved
MEPs gave their consent to the first ever EU-Cuba cooperation agreement, thereby marking a turning point in bilateral relations.
By 567 votes to 65, with 31 abstentions, MEPs backed the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba to
- expand bilateral trade,
- promote dialogue and economic cooperation and,
- provide for joint action on the world scene.
Without clearly mentioning the US embargo, MEPs are opposed to “laws and measures with extraterritorial effect”, given that they are “harmful to the Cuban population”. The EU-Cuba deal should contribute to improving the living conditions and social rights of Cuban citizens, MEPs add.
The Cuban government should align its human rights policy with international standards and ratify the United Nations human rights conventions still pending, urge MEPs. They recall that the PDCA includes a provision to suspend the agreement, if the provisions on human rights are violated.
The agreement has been under negotiation since April 2014 and was signed by EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in December 2016. It needed to get the European Parliament’s consent to enter into force and will apply on a provisional basis (provisions of EU competency only), pending ratification by all of the member states.
EP Rapporteur Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) said: "With this vote the European Parliament is giving its support to use dialogue and cooperation with Cuba as the best instruments to build a constructive and future-oriented relationship, beneficial for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic".