Letter to EU governments on the GSP reform
CSO reject EU policy reform that would legalize EU trade sanctions against developing countries, based on their migration policies
An important trade and development policy tool of the EU is the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which allows developing countries to export goods to the EU at low or no tariffs. The current GSP Regulation is to expire end of this year.
The ongoing revision of the GSP regulation is an important opportunity for the EU to bolster the contribution of trade to sustainable development – which is closely linked to poverty reduction, human rights, labour rights and environmental protection. Keeping a clear focus on this objective is crucial at a time of multiple interlinked crises, such as the food and climate crises, that are having devastating effects on developing countries.
Sadly, we witness efforts to abuse this review to turn this EU regulation into a means to apply pressure on developing countries that allegedly do not cooperate sufficiently with the EU on migration and the taking back of refugees.
The EU parliament already rejected to turn the GSP into a system that would legalize EU trade sanctions against developing countries, based on their migration policies. Sadly, the EU council still insists on such changes.
In this letter, Both ENDS and more than 50 other CSO urge the EU Council to drop its current position and support the adoption of a GSP scheme that squarely and solely serves its sustainable development goals. EU trade and development policies should be used to address the root causes of migration.
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