EU trade schemes promote economic development and human rights

 The report published today jointly by the European Commission and the European External Action Service shows the positive impact of the European Union's duty-rebate schemes on developing economies. Trade acts as an engine for growth and helps promote human and labour rights, good governance and sustainable development principles. Today's report points out the progress made on issues such as women's empowerment, child and forced labour, torture, illegal drugs trafficking and climate change. A publication accompanying the report also identifies the progress and shortcomings specifically in the countries participating in the Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance, known as GSP+. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said: "The Generalised Scheme of Preference complements the European Union's political engagement with its partners. As a result, we have contributed to the strengthening of civil society and independent voices and to the better protection of human rights through national legislation in partner countries." Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "Our policies offer generous access to the EU market, coupled with strong engagement with national authorities. We're now seeing positive changes in many places around the world." Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen said: "We are encouraged to see positive developments and to have an open dialogue on important labour rights issues, such as eliminating child labour. As significant challenges remain, it is even more so important to step up our efforts." The EU will continue engaging with each beneficiary country on the necessary priority actions and organise monitoring missions targeting specifically those countries where strengthened efforts are required. See the press release, a Q&A and the factsheet for more information about the findings of the report. 

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