GSP+ monitors in SL in 10 days

  • Six-member EU delegation to monitor

BY Pamodi Waravita

The Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade concessions Monitoring Mission will visit Sri Lanka from 27 September to 5 October, the European Union (EU) delegation in Colombo told The Morning yesterday (15).
A report will be compiled by the EU Commission based on the Monitoring Mission’s observations to be submitted to the European Parliament and European Council in early 2022, The Morning learnt.

In an electronic mail communication, the EU delegation in Colombo informed The Morning that the Mission comprises European Commission (EC) Senior Advisor on Trade and Sustainable Development Nikolaos Zaimis, European External Action Service (EEAS) South Asia Division Head Ioannis Giogkarakis Argyropoulos, EC GSP Trade Preferences Co-ordinator Guido Dolara, EC Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion Head of the Unit EC Lluis Prats, EEAS Desk Officer for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Monika Bylaite, and EEAS Human Rights Policy Officer Paolo Salvia.

The EU Parliament, earlier this year, called on the Government of Sri Lanka to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 as amended and the EC to consider the temporary withdrawal of the GSP+ from Sri Lanka if it is not done. Reportedly, the 24th Session of the EU-Sri Lanka Joint Commission in the first quarter of 2022 will witness the review of all aspects of bilateral co-operation.

The GSP+ gives Sri Lanka preferential access to markets in the EU. It was withdrawn in 2010 after the EU identified three major shortcomings with respect to the UN Human Rights Conventions (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child), related to the GSP+ scheme, which is not only a special incentive agreement for sustainable development but also for good governance. It has been identified that the GSP+ especially benefits the fisheries and apparel industries.