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This work deals with constrained optimal control of VSC-HVDC. It shows how to exploit the independent control of active and reactive power to enhance the stability of grid areas on each side of the HVDC. It focuses on electromechanical dynamics as they occur during faults. A hierarchical control structure is proposed where the outer loop sets the power references based on power system measurements in real time. The inner loops ensure fast and accurate tracking of these references using high dynamic performance controllers.