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Press release |

Generalised Scheme of Preferences: Reform of EU tariff preferences regulation needed in the fight for sustainable development

Today, the Committee on International Trade has adopted a mandate for trilogue negotiations on the reform of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The GSP provides significant tariff reductions to developing countries’ exports to the EU, and is a major opportunity to improve the lives and livelihoods of over 2 billion people. The Parliament’s position emphasises the importance of beneficiary countries to strengthen the implementation of international conventions on human rights, labour rights and the environment.

Heidi Hautala, Greens/EFA MEP and European Parliament rapporteur for the reform of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, comments: 

“Today the European Parliament has sent a clear message to the Council and the Commission that the forthcoming GSP regulation must be squarely focused on the core objectives of poverty eradication and sustainable development. The European Parliament calls for enhancing the promotion of international human rights, labour and environmental standards in the GSP Regulation. 

“Predictability, transparency and the involvement of civil society and other stakeholders are crucial means to achieve the core objectives of improving human rights and eradicating poverty. Scorecards describing progress in implementing the conventions must be publicly disclosed. A Single Entry Point for complaints must be opened to partner countries' civil societies.

“The Parliament has strongly rejected moves by the Commission to link trade preferences to migration and the readmission of refused asylum seekers. A comprehensive partnership on migration is needed, not the instrumentalisation of trade which detracts from the core objectives of the GSP.”

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