EU Ombudsman To Investigate Refusal to Disclose the Agreement with Havana
The Ombudsman's Office of the European Union (EU) will investigate the European External Action Service’s (EEAS) decision not to disclose the content of the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement reached with Havana, as reported in a letter by Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly.
"I have decided to open an investigation into the following allegation and claim: that the EEAS wrongly decided not to disclose the document. The EEAS should disclose the document," O'Reilly stated in her letter, addressed to Erik Jennische, Director of the Latin America Program of the organization Civil Rights Defenders, to which DIARIO DE CUBA has had access.
In recent months Jennische had complained regarding the EEAS's refusal to reveal the contents of the treaty reached with Havana in March to the "general public."
In April the head of the EEAS's Division of Parliamentary Affairs, Gabriele Visentin, responded to a request by Jennische that disclosure "could undermine the process" and "damage relations between the EU and Cuba."
The letter from the Ombudsman came as response to a complaint filed by Jennische with the Ombudsman's Office.
"In order to decide whether the EEAS should be invited to give an opinion regarding the complaint, as a first step in my inquiry I concluded that it would be expedient to inspect the document," said Ireland's O'Reilly.
"Therefore, I have informed the EEAS that my office will conduct an inspection of the document. A copy of the inspection report will be sent to you in due time," she added.
Last week EU diplomatic sources quoted by the Europa Press agency said that the EU expected to sign the agreement with Havana before the end of the year, in order to finally "normalize relations."
EU Foreign Affairs ministers planned to "provide their perspectives" on the deal at a Monday meeting in Brussels, although there "was no talk about revisiting the text," agreed to with the government under Raúl Castro.
The European Union Ombudsman is the party to whom citizens can turn to seek redress for damages caused by mismanagement at the organization’s institutions or agencies.