Just over a week ago, Cuba and the European Union held a first Joint Council meeting. It identified the principal multilateral and bilateral issues on which they hope in future to work more closely.

For the EU, the event was particularly important. It established a dialogue with one of the few countries in the world with which it had no formal relationship, despite it being Cuba’s leading investment and trade partner.  

The meeting was the outcome of a tortuous negotiating process begun in 2014 which led Europe to abandon political pre-conditions in favour of a bilateral Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA). Signed in December 2016, this finally came into force provisionally in November 2017 after having been agreed by the European Parliament…..