Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies group, west of Hispaniola island (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and 145 km south of Key West, Florida (US). It has a population of 11.24 million inhabitants.
European Union relations with Cuba are based on the Common Position adopted in 1996.
Cuba was admitted into the ACP group in 2000, but it is not a signatory of the Cotonou Agreement. Since October 2001, Cuba has been a member of CARIFORUM and has signed a 'partial scope' free trade zone agreement with CARICOM.
Following the decision of the Council of 23 June 2008 to lift the diplomatic measures, adopted towards Cuba in 2003, the EU-Cuba political dialogue was resumed covering a wide range of issues including political, human rights, economic, development cooperation, scientific and cultural questions.. The Council Conclusions of 15 June 2009 agreed that "the political dialogue with Cuba should be pursued and deepened".
Between 1993 and 2003, the Commission financed close to € 145 m of assistance measures, mostly in the field of humanitarian aid (€ 90 m). Following the official relaunch of cooperation in October 2008, emergency assistance of € 4 m was made available to cover the most important humanitarian needs of the population affected by hurricanes Gustav, Ike and Paloma. An additional amount of € 36 m was committed in 2009 for cooperation in the fields of post-hurricane reconstruction and rehabilitation, food security, environment and climate change, business management and culture.
On 12 May 2010, the Commission adopted the first Country Strategy Paper for the Republic of Cuba. An indicative allocation of €20 million was earmarked for Cuba for the period 2011-2013 under the EU Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI). Three priority sectors have been identified for this Country Strategy Paper, namely:
These funds can be complemented by projects and programmes financed under the DCI and EDF regional programmes, as well as from DCI thematic programmes and other cooperation instruments of the EU.
Finally, in terms of trade, the EU is Cuba's largest trading partner, with a third of all trade, almost one half of foreign direct investment and more than half of all tourists coming from Europe. Cuba benefits from the Generalised System of Preferences in its trade exchanges with the EU.
(15/06/09) Read The Council conclusions: Review of the EU common position on Cuba
(08/11/08) Read Joint declaration concerning areas and modalities provisionally identified for cooperation
(23/10/08) Read the declaration concerning the renewing of co-operation between the European Union and the Republic of Cuba
(23/06/08) Read the Council Conclusions on Cuba