WEBINAR "EU-Cuba relations: challenges and potentialities for the development of stable and long-term links" within the framework of the Europe Cuba Forum
On December 10, 2021, the webinar "EU - Cuba relations: challenges and potentialities for the development of stable and long-term ties" was held, an event organized by CIDOB within the framework of the Europe Cuba Forum and with the collaboration of the CIPI and the CIEI in Havana. The event was attended by a series of academics and experts from both sides of the Atlantic who debated the challenges and potential for the development of stable, long-term ties between the EU and Cuba.
The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba, the EU and its member states, in force since 2017, established the conditions for the development of stable and long-term ties between the parties. The new instrument formally replaced the Common Position of 1996, surpassing a policy of unilateral conditionalities that proved inefficient for the development of bilateral relations, and for the achievement of the objectives that in that framework the parties set out. As a result of the PDCA, the EU policy reached a better correspondence with the level of links that its member states have maintained with the island, in the economic, political and cooperation fields.
However, Cuba's external insertion is taking place in an extremely complex international political context, determined in the first place by the increase in U.S. sanctions against the island, which aggravated the severe socioeconomic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, conservative forces in the European Parliament are questioning the effectiveness of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, and are trying to place the Council in a dilemma: to accompany the updating of the Cuban economic model and its external insertion, from a constructive position of mutual respect, or to undermine the existing framework agreement with the Island and return to the unsuccessful unilateral and pressure policies.
With this Webinar, the Europe Cuba Forum Jean Monnet Network invites to reflect on the state of economic, cooperation and political relations between the EU and Cuba, highlighting the challenges faced by the island to transform its pattern of external insertion, an indispensable component for overcoming the structural obstacles that hinder the achievement of a prosperous and sustainable society; as well as the potential for developing a respectful, mutually beneficial, stable and long-term relationship.
The webinar addressed these issues through two discussion panels. The first was dedicated to the international context of EU-Cuba relations. The second focused on examining the opportunities for cooperation between the EU and Cuba.