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Parliamentary questions
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20 February 2019
Answer given by Ms Malmström on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006286/2018

The Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development and Good Governance (‘GSP+’) provides preferential market access to eligible developing countries, including Pakistan, under the condition they ratify and implement 27 international conventions, including those of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Commission monitors beneficiary countries’ implementation of these Conventions. Reports and observations drafted by the ILO are an important basis for the Commission’s analysis.

During its most recent monitoring mission to Pakistan (October 2018), the Commission discussed priority areas where more progress needs to be made, including particularly on the freedom of association and collective bargaining. Regular contacts have also been established with other stakeholders, such as civil society and social partners. The Government of Pakistan recognises that the implementation of laws remains a challenge, as it is decentralised to the provinces.

It is important to note that the export opportunities offered by GSP+ have also brought a keen interest of the EU industry to ensure that labour standards in their value chains are upheld.

The EU industry is working closely with Pakistan’s domestic industry to improve working conditions. GSP+ monitoring is an ongoing process and the Commission will continue to discuss with the Government of Pakistan issues of concern, also at provincial level, and has requested evidence of progress before finalising its next bi-annual report to the European Parliament and the European Council.

This will constitute an important benchmark to assess if the Pakistani government is serious about implementing its commitments.

Last updated: 21 February 2019Legal notice