Conference "EU-Cuba relations five years after the entry into force of the political dialogue and cooperation agreement" in the framework of the Europe-Cuba Forum


On 21 June 2022, a new session of reflection was held at Casa de América in Madrid, organised within the framework of the Europe-Cuba Forum. Under the title EU-Cuba relations five years after the entry into force of the political dialogue and cooperation agreement, the event, organised by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and CIDOB, brought together a series of experts from the academic and institutional spheres to tackle the state of economic, cooperation and political relations between the EU and Cuba.   

Following the inauguration of the conference by Enrique Ojeda, Director General of Casa de América, the introductory session took place, in which José Antonio Alonso, Professor of Applied Economics at the UCM and member of the Forum, Anna Ayuso, Coordinator of the Europe Cuba Forum and Gloria Iniesta of the European External Action Service took part. The speakers put into context the state of relations between the EU and Cuba, highlighting the most recent changes in the regional and inter-regional context for Cuba's international insertion.  

This topic was discussed in depth at the first round table on "Challenges and opportunities for EU-Cuba cooperation", with the participation of Laura Oroz Ulibarri, Director of Cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Katarzyna Dembicz, Professor, Institute of Iberian and Ibero-American Studies, University of Warsaw, and Susanne Gratius, Professor and Director of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of Law, Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), moderated by Francisco Sánchez, Director, Institute of Ibero-American Studies, University of Salamanca (USAL). This session reflected on the state of cooperation between Spain and Cuba, cooperation at the regional Caribbean level, and Cuba's insertion from the perspective of international relations.  

The afternoon session focused on the "prospects for economic cooperation between the EU and Cuba". It began with a presentation by Pavel Vidal, professor and researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali, on the state of economic reforms in Cuba and prospects in the current context. Next, Professor Javier Velázquez from the Department of Applied Economics II of the UCM spoke about the Cuban tourism sector and its evolution in recent years. Marta Blanco, President of CEOE International, gave an overview of international relations from a business perspective, with special emphasis on bilateral relations between Spain and Cuba. Finally, José Antonio Alonso, gave a presentation that shared a global logic of the current situation in the Cuban economic sphere.  

All the sessions concluded with a final space for interaction with the audience, in which questions related to the topics dealt with during the presentations were addressed and discussed in depth.   

This was the last event organised in the framework of the Jean Monnet Network Europe-Cuba Forum project, which over the last four years has analysed the scope of reforms in Cuba from a multidisciplinary perspective and focused on EU-Cuba relations in the global context.