EU report shows trade policy promotes sustainability and human rights in third countries

The European Commission and the EU High Representative published today the first report, on the concrete effects of the GSP+, the EU trade policy instrument devised to encourage third countries, benefiting from privileged conditions of access to the EU market, to comply with core international standards such as human rights or environmental protection. On this occasion, the High Representative Federica Mogherini said:” Development is deeply linked not only to economic growth but also to social improvements. The 14 countries have shown political and institutional engagement, which needs to be followed up also by implementation.  We have not fully achieved all the goals yet.  Making a difference on the ground is what counts and this will be at the heart of the EU’s monitoring and dialogue during the next 2-year reporting period.” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström commented: ”We have done much work over the past two years, engaging with vulnerable countries who asked for enhanced access to the EU market. All 14 countries that benefit from this arrangement have made significant efforts to improve the situation as regards human rights, labour rights, environmental protection, and good governance. However the situation is far from perfect. With this report, we have identified shortcomings which equip us with better knowledge and tools to make improvements in the years to come. We will now continue with our dialogue and cooperation to make sure that the countries continue to implement the 27 conventions.” A full press release in EN, FR, DE is available online. The 14 GSP+ beneficiary countries covered in the report are Armenia, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Mongolia, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the Philippines. The highlights of progress and working priorities for each country in the report, as well as questions and answers on the report are available online