HAVANA TIMES – The Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between Cuba and the European Union that will end the so-called “common position” which restricts relations with the island, will be signed on December 12, confirmed Herman Portocarero, the European ambassador in Cuba.
“The agreement we hope to sign December 12 in Brussels contains many more subjects of dialogue, including political and in the field of human rights, among others, but also a dialogue from society to society,” said Portocarrero at a press conference.
The new agreement establishes “a solid legal and negotiated basis ” between the two sides exchanging “the monologue for dialogue” in bilateral relations, said the European diplomat.
In 1996, the then Spanish president, José María Aznar, spearheaded the so-called “common position” of all EU countries that conditioned relations with Havana to advances in human rights on the island.
Portocarero stressed that the new agreement “provides a more complete, more reliable and solid base for joint negotiations, not unilateral positions.”
Since April 2014, Cuba and the European Union have held several rounds of negotiations for a bilateral agreement on political dialogue and cooperation.
On 11 March of this year, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, signed the agreement at an official ceremony in Havana.
In September, the European Commission called on member countries of the bloc to repeal the “common position” to open a new era in diplomatic relations.
In 2015, EU members were the second largest trading partner of the island, with a presence mainly in the sectors of power generation, water development, medical equipment, food and agriculture.