Negotiations for the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement (PDCA) were launched in April 2014 and concluded on 11 March 2016. After the approval by the Council of the European Union, it was officially signed on 12 December 2016. In parallel, the agreement was submitted to the EU Member States' national parliaments and the Cuban National Assembly for ratification. The European Parliament gave its consent on 5 July 2017. Most parts of the agreement start to be provisionally applied as of 1 November 2017.
The PDCA creates an enabling framework for enhanced political dialogue, for improved bilateral cooperation, as well as for developing joint action in multilateral fora. It defines general principles and objectives for the relationship between the EU and Cuba and includes three main chapters on:
- Political dialogue, addressing issues, such as human rights, small arms and disarmament, migration, drugs, fight against terrorism, sustainable development, etc.;
- Cooperation and sector policy dialogue, including areas, such as human rights, governance, civil society, social and economic development, environment as well as regional cooperation;
- Trade and trade cooperation, dealing with principles of international trade and covering cooperation on customs, trade facilitation, technical norms and standards, sustainable trade and investment.
The agreement provides a framework for accompanying the reform process in Cuba.