A new chapter in EU-Cuba relations will be marked on 1 November 2017, with the start of provisional application of the first ever agreement between the European Union and Cuba.

On 12 December 2016, EU and Cuba signed the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA), and the European Parliament approved it on 5 July 2017. While most of the agreement starts provisionally applying on 1 November 2017, its full application will begin once all EU member states have ratified the agreement.

This agreement also confirms the EU's continued engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba was the only country in the region with which the EU had not yet agreed on a legal basis for dialogue and cooperation.

“The EU and Cuba are truly turning a page, and the new chapter of our partnership begins now, with the provisional application of our new agreement,” Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President, said in a statement.

“Today the European Union gets closer to Cuba and all Cuban citizens as the country goes through economic, political and social modernisation,” Mogherini added. “We Europeans are tied to Cuba, Latin America, and the Caribbean by a shared history, culture, values, and aspirations for the present and the future.”

The PDCA comprises three main chapters on political dialogue, cooperation, and sector-policy dialogue, as well as trade cooperation. It promotes dialogue and cooperation to encourage sustainable development, democracy and human rights, as well as to find shared solutions to global challenges through joint action in multilateral fora.

Areas of common interest include, for example, renewable energies, rural development, the environment, human rights, good governance, security, and job creation. Activities will be conducted with all actors in Cuba, including the public sector, local authorities, the whole range of civil society, the private sector, as well as international organisations and their agencies.