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Highlighting progress and shortcomings in 14 countries benefiting from privileged EU market access

28 January 2016


Highlighting progress and shortcomings in 14 countries benefiting from privileged EU market access

© Marin de Espinosa /

The European Commission and the EU High Representativepublished today the first report on the concrete 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.

According to the report, all 14 GSP+ beneficiary countries demonstrated progress. They

  • strengthened their domestic institutions responsible for an effective implementation of the 27 key international conventions,.
  • improved relations with the international bodies – including various UN agencies – responsible for monitoring of the conventions' implementation,.
  • upgraded their reporting activities.

These are significant steps paving the way towards further practical changes. In areas where progress has been slower, the EU will engage in dialogue with these countries in order to find ways of speeding up the process.

"The report illustrates the decent work challenges faced in a number of developing countries and how EU trade preferences can make a difference in improving the situation," says Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility. "In an increasingly globalised world, promoting fundamental rights at work in one country is essential for the sustainable development of all."


Through the GPS+ 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 – including the United Nations (UN) conventions on human rights and the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on labour rights – and agree to cooperate in monitoring their implementation. Today's report provides the first compliance assessment.

The 14 countries covered in the report are