Cooperation on economic reforms
and sustainable development

The Cuban economy faces enormous challenges and is in the process of redefining its economic rules and institutions. Some steps have been taken in this direction, but major reforms are still underway, as the economy has acquired significant imbalances (both macro- and microeconomic) over the past two decades, and decreased social spending has affected people's living conditions. In this context, the complementarity and coherence of the decisions taken in different areas and the timeline of the reforms are crucial for managing the process. This first thematic cluster will focus on discussing: first, which areas should be prioritised in the economic reform process; second, the interrelations that exist between these areas and how complementarity and coherence between them can be strengthened; and third, given the existing externalities and interrelations between the different areas, in which order the reforms should be carried out. Attention will be focussed at three levels: the microeconomic (autonomy of the agents, incentives and rules that affect consumers and consumer decisions, in particular); the mesoeconomic (productive diversification, technological improvement and strategic productive sectors); and the macroeconomic (macroeconomic balances, trade balance and macroeconomic policies).

The work will analyse international experiences and the challenges facing the Cuban economic reform process in order to identify strategic instruments and sectors. In this way it hopes to improve the effectiveness of the collaborative activities carried out in the new framework of relations envisaged by the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) signed in 2016. The working papers will examine the prospects for EU-Cuba cooperation when applying the economic reforms pending in Cuba and the most strategic instruments and sectors for the implementation of the commitments. The papers will be coordinated by the University of Havana and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), with the participation of USAL and CIDOB.