Emergence of the EU

In 1965 a treaty was signed that merged the executives of the three European communities (when they already had common institutions in the field of justice) through the creation of the European Commission (EC) and the European Council (EC).

The single European act signed in February 1986 came into force in July 1987. The latter’s mission was to revitalize European construction, setting the consolidation of the internal market in 1993 and allowing the free movement of capital and services as well. By this treaty, the community competences are extended to the domains of research and technological development, environment and social policy. The single act also establishes the existence of the European Council, which brings together the heads of state and government and promotes a common initiative on foreign policy (European political cooperation) as well as cooperation on security matters.

The Maastricht Treaty signed in February 1992, entered into force in 1993. Under this agreement, the European Union continues the common market and the EEC, transformed into a European community, marks a new stage in the union process.

The treaty creates European citizenship and allows free movement and residence in community countries, as well as the right to vote and be elected in a state of residence for European or municipal elections. It is decided to create a single European currency, the euro, which would enter into circulation in 2002 under the control of the European central bank.

Recent history

In 1999, the Amsterdam Treaty came into force , affirming the principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights, explicitly including the principle of continued development. Two years later, the Nice Treaty is signed, which would enter into force in 2003. Meanwhile, in 2002, the CECA, created for 50 years, was extinguished and its scope of action was encompassed within that of the European community.

According to COUNTRYAAH, the 2004 enlargement to 10 new members (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus) was the largest enlargement that has taken place in the EU.

Relations with other countries

Common position

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla has pointed out on countless occasions that European countries should get out of the “trap” of the “common position” with which they have tried to pressure Cuba since 1996.

In December 1996 the Spanish government of José María Aznar promoted the adoption by the EU of what is known as the “Common Position on Cuba”. Aznar’s initiative prospered.

Shortly after, the Council of the EU approved the common position and, later, the understanding of the European Union with the United States on the Helms-Burton Act, in which European governments agreed to abide by the conditions imposed by the United States, in exchange of the North American promise not to sanction European companies.

The “common position” was essentially a European policy of imposing conditions: Cuba must first make concessions and only then can it receive aid from the EU. This intolerant imposition is based exclusively on political criteria and hides, under the campaign for the alleged violations of human rights and the lack of political freedoms, the inability to accept the existence of the socialist system in Cuba.

The 25 of March of 2003 a protest note presented by the Presidency of the European Union on the sentences in Cuban courts on a group of suspected “dissidents”, actually employees to the service of the administration of the United States as demonstrated with overwhelming evidence the government of Cuba.

On April 14, at the proposal of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a new statement from the Union’s Council of Foreign Relations was presented to the EU, treating the 75 Cubans imprisoned as “political prisoners” and threatening to kill them. Cuba with the affectation of “plans to increase cooperation.”

On June 5, unusual in diplomatic practice, the European Union issued a statement entitled “Reassessment of the EU Common Position on Cuba – Council Conclusions-“, in which, in addition to announcing punitive measures against Cuba informed the international community that he had addressed a letter to the Cuban authorities. The letter reached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hours after its public announcement.

On June 11, the Cuban Foreign Ministry responded indignantly that it considered what is being done as hypocritical and opportunistic on the part of the European Union.

In short, the EU endorsed four measures to toughen the “Common Position”:

  • Limit high-level bilateral government visits.
  • Reduce the level of participation of member states in cultural events.
  • Invite Cuban dissidents to national holiday celebrations.
  • Re-examine the common position of the European Union on Cuba.

The 17 of June of 2010, Minister of Cuban Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez said that a new framework for relations between the European Union and it is possible to Cuba exceeding the common position “obsolete” as long as it is traded on equality and without any pressure and stressed that more and more European countries agree with the current Spanish government in demanding the abandonment of the policy adopted in 1996. Likewise, he denounced the double standards of Europeans by asking that human rights be respected in Cuba and not doing the same in European territory.

The 24 of February of 2011, as a continuation of the political dialogue with the government of Cuba met Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Parrilla. During the meeting, the Cuban willingness to move towards the establishment of a mutually acceptable bilateral framework of relations was expressed.

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla reiterated that the normalization of relations between the parties would depend on the elimination by the European Union of the existing obstacles and the verification in the facts of its willingness to advance this objective on a reciprocal basis, unconditionally and non-discriminatory, full respect for the sovereign equality of the States, the legal framework and institutional order of the parties, and total adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of the States.

Fidel Castro has already said:

Neither Cuba needs Europe, nor should Europe forgive Cuba anything.

On December 6, 2016, the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) approved at the level of their ambassadors the signing of a political and cooperation agreement between that bloc and Cuba to normalize their relations. These decisions allowed the member states to follow the necessary steps to repeal the so-called “Common Position” and encourage better relations between the community bloc and Cuba.

Emergence of the EU