The European Commission has approved the legislative proposal to improve the European Union’s (EU) generalized scheme of preferences (GSP) and extend its period from 2024 to 2034. Through its proposal the Commission aims to make GSP more focused on reducing poverty and increasing export opportunities for low-income countries. It also aims to incentivize sustainable economic growth in low-income countries and offer new room for engagement on environmental and good governance issues.
The new GSP framework strengthens the EU's ability to use trade preferences to create economic opportunities and advance sustainable development. The modernized framework also expands the grounds for the withdrawal of EU GSP preferences in case of serious and systematic violations.
The new proposal ensures smooth transition for all countries set to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status in the next decade. These countries can apply for the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance (GSP+) if they commit to strong sustainability standards and can thus retain generous tariff preferences to access to the EU market.
The new scheme also proposes to set up a well-defined framework for the current GSP+ beneficiaries to adapt to the new requirements, offering an adequate transition period and requiring the presentation of implementation plans.