In 2010 the EU decided however to stop the preferential treatment for Sri Lankan imports due to the failure to address reported human rights violations in the country. In 2015, the new government of Sri Lanka set out a path of major reforms aiming for national reconciliation, respect of human rights, the rule of law and good governance principles, as well as sustainable economic development. The Sri Lankan government applied for GSP+ in July 2016 and the Commission's assessment has concluded that it met the GSP+ entry criteria set out in the EU regulation. Once adopted, tariffs will go to 0% for two thirds of exports substantially bringing up Sri Lanka's exports to the EU (EUR2.6 billion in 2015).
Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: "GSP+ preferences can make a significant contribution to Sri Lanka's economic development by increasing exports to the EU market. But this also reflects the way in which we want to support Sri Lanka in implementing human rights, rule of law and good governance reforms. I am confident of seeing timely and substantial further progress in these areas and the GSP+ dialogue and monitoring features will support this reform process. This should include making Sri Lankan counter-terrorism legislation fully compatible with international human rights conventions."
European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen has today launched the Delegation to the Philippines' commemorative book "The Ties that Bind" to mark 25 years of the EU Delegation in the Philippines.
"The Ties that Bind" encapsulates the years from the EU Delegation's establishment in the Philippines until today.
It features the milestones as well as challenges and actions taken to further strengthen the growing and deepening relationship between the EU and the Philippines.
EU and Indonesian negotiators will meet from 24 to 28 January 2017 for a full round of negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA). After an initial two-day round in September last year, this second round will see negotiators enter into detailed discussions addressing all chapters of the future agreement.