Kalba debatuose dėl ES perspektyvų, susijusių su pirmuoju ES ir Kubos bendru Tarybos posėdžiu
EP plenarinė sesija
2018 03 13
Madame Mogherini, colleagues, the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) between the EU and Cuba can be seen as a new chapter in EU-Cuba relations. This agreement provides for enhanced political dialogue, improved bilateral cooperation and joint action in multilateral fora.
For the EU, the PDCA is a tool for supporting a process of change and modernisation in Cuba. For Cuba, it represents the so-called normalisation of the relationship with important economic and trade partners and helps to diversify its external obligations.
The forthcoming EU-Cuba Joint Council at ministerial level is an important gathering, which should aim to discuss important political issues, trade and investment, as much as human rights. Economic, political and social modernisation is vitally important for the country. However, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms must go hand in hand with placing EU-Cuba relations on a higher level.
We know that the human rights situation is getting worse. Violations of freedom of religion or belief in Cuba have been on a steep rise. In this situation, the EU cannot be silent. The possibility of applying human rights clauses as an integral part of the agreement must be clearly and openly discussed during the Joint Council meeting. And the EU should raise the question of religious freedom in Cuba and should encourage Cuba to fully ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.