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EU trade policy, sustainability and human rights

Jan 28, 2016 | News

(28 January 2016) – The European Commission and the EU High Representative published today the first report on the effects of the GSP+, the EU trade policy instrument devised to encourage third countries to comply with core international standards in the areas of human rights, labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.

Through this system, which builds on the existing Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), the countries involved pay no duties when exporting a range of products to the EU. In return, they must have ratified 27 core international conventions and agree to cooperate in monitoring their implementation. According to the report, all 14 GSP+ beneficiary countries demonstrated progress.

The 14 beneficiary countries, as well as EU and international institutions and civil society organisations, will now have an opportunity to respond to the findings of today’s report. The monitoring process will continue and the European Commission will follow up on the areas identified for improvement by the report.

The Commission will continue delivering practical support to the GSP+ countries, including existing capacity-building projects in partnership with the ILO. Ongoing projects include support of local administrations to put administrative structures in place in four countries (Pakistan, Mongolia, Guatemala, El Salvador), as well as support for civil society engagement for human and labour rights improvements in all of the 14 countries.

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