The European Commission announced its introduction of six new conventions pertaining to the provision of facilities to people with physical disabilities, dealing with child labor and climate change in low-income nations.

The commission stated on Wednesday, that after reviewing the status for a number of countries including Pakistan, it has decided to keep the Generalized Preferential System Plus (GSP-Plus) status for the country. The statement said that it intends to continue talks with the EU-Pakistan Join Commission.

New GSP rules have been announced in order to facilitate the low-income developing countries tackle the previously mentioned issues. The new framework aims to better tackle the constantly evolving dynamics and needs of the GSP countries.

Providing details related to the newly established GSP framework, the commission released a statement saying that it had implemented the legislative proposal for the GSP period of 2024-2034. “The Commission is proposing to improve some of the key features of the scheme to better respond to the evolving needs and challenges of GSP countries as well as reinforce the scheme’s social, labor environmental and climate dimension,” it said.

The GSP Regulation allows for the reduction or removal of import duties on goods produced in low-income developing countries and entering the EU market effectively contributing to the eradication of poverty while promoting sustainable development. It also helps boost the participation of vulnerable countries in the global economy.

 The revised proposal targets the reduction of poverty and growth of export opportunities for the GSP status countries. The primary objective is to provide incentives in order to drive the economic growth and facilitate cooperation on environmental and good governance issues.

Consequently, the new framework puts the EU in a strong position to create economic opportunities using trade as a tool while boosting sustainable development.

It must be noted that the improved framework allows the EU to withdraw the GSP preferences on grounds of serious and systematic violations. Apart from the general human rights and labor conventions which were previously being covered, more environmental and good governance conventions have been incorporated into the new framework.

Political and economic conditions in Pakistan are being carefully monitored by the Commission alongside European External Action Service (EEAS) in order to gauge whether or not the country is maintaining the clauses put forth in the relevant conventions.

The commission emphasized that “We have taken note of the matters raised and the issues highlighted in the EP Resolution on Pakistan (29 April 2021), which has received significant coverage also in Pakistan. We have discussed it and its content with the Pakistani authorities, through our delegation and here in Brussels.”

Previously, there was anticipation regarding a temporary removal of Pakistan’s GSP+ status, however, it is considered as the last resort in case political dialogue and negotiations fail to achieve the desired results.


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