01 Jun 2009 - 01 Mar 2010
developing countries, Economic Development, Global/Multiregional, Research, trade policy, Trade, economic integration and globalization

Mid-term Evaluation of the EU's Generalised System of Preferences


The EU's Generalised System of Preferences (GSP ) is a central component of the EU's strategy towards developing countries. That strategy is aimed at the promotion of sustainable development, where trade is seen as one of the essential elements in facilitating that development both with regard to economic and social objectives. With regard to trade, the GSP scheme is a core part of the EU's strategy towards developing countries, and this is in conjunction with other policies such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and other bilateral and regional trading agreements. The GSP scheme has also evolved considerably over the years, with a substantial change occurring in 2006, and with the most recent scheme being applicable from 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2011.

Given the centrality of the GSP in the EU's strategy towards developing countries, it is exceedingly important to be able to use the most appropriate evidence to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme for developing countries, to assess its relative strengths and weaknesses, and to consider the implications of the preceding for the future formulation of strategy and policy in this regard.

CASE's team work has focused on the analysis of one of the three GSP's sub-regimes: the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance, known as GSP+, which offers additional tariff reductions to support vulnerable developing countries in their ratification and implementation of international conventions in these areas. The work involved, inter alia, in-depth case studies in three GSP+ beneficiaries: Nicaragua, Peru and Georgia.

For further information, please find here:

executive summary: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/146197.htm

final report: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/146196.htm

appendices: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/146195.htm


DG Trade


CARIS (University of Sussex, UK) [consortium leaders], IDS (Institute of Development Studies, UK)