15th February 2014

EU´s hand offered to Cuba

During the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 10 February, the EU called unanimously for a new impetus in its relations with Cuba. The relations with Raúl Castro´s communist regime were suspended between 2003 and 2008 due to dissidents´ imprisonment and since 2008 were only scarce and ad hoc. Now, Member States propose negotiating and signing a new broad political and co-operation agreement with Cuba. This treaty should provide new dynamism to EU-Cuban relations and be a sign of commitment on both sides. The regime in Havana is engaged in a long-term process of gradual reform and the EU would like to assist, though being aware of the complexity and sensitivity of the issues to be discussed, namely human rights. Although the agreement is set to have an economic part, no change is planned for Cuba´s tariff regime at this point. Diplomats from both the Commission and the Member States will engage in negotiations, which are expected to be very careful and only indicative in the beginning. As the agreement is not expected to be technically too difficult, the EU would like to have the treaty prepared before next year´s EU-Latin America summit. However, insiders indicate that no timetable is set and the progress of the negotiations will depend solely on Cuban will to accept EU´s invitation.

For more information, click here and here.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic