Talking on behalf of all the Industrialists present Mr. Alberto Paccanelli EURATEX President said “The European Parliament should be given the possibility to assess each of the GSP+ applications based on their own merits. The EU Commission proposal including 10 applications in a Unique Delegated Act effectively denies this possibility”.
It was the Commission’s decision to assess all the applications as a package and include them in a single Delegated Act. Euratex considers that this decision has severe limitations inhibiting a proper country by country analysis, as the possible refusal of one application means the refusal of the entire package of applications.
According to the new GSP Regime any country intending to benefit from the GSP+ needs to bindingly commit to ratify and implement 27 Conventions in the area of Human Rights, Environment and Labour Rights and to accept monitoring and cooperation. Moreover the candidate country cannot formulate reservations prohibited under the Conventions nor have serious problems of implementation.
In this context Mr. Paccanelli recalled that “An objective and thorough assessment of all the individual applications should be done to ensure that each applicant country fulfils all the necessary conditions to obtain GSP+ status. In Euratex opinion not all the applicants considered in the Commission’s Delegated Act fulfil the necessary conditions. This is certainly the case of Pakistan one of the leading world exporters for T&C and a country that has already a dominant position in the EU market for a considerable number of Textile products”.
Independent Reports clearly show that Pakistan has a poor record in matters related to Human Rights and in particular to the protection of religious minorities, women and children. A reputed NGO in Pakistan that defends Women’s Rights- Aurat Foundation- stated in its 2012 Report that “There were a total of 65.316 cases of violence against women reported in the media between 2008 and 2011”.
Moreover certain positive initiatives such as the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 2004 failed to improve the situation and extreme cases such as “honour killings” remain unpunished due to Qisas and Dyat Ordinance (Sharia Law).
In the same line Amnesty International in its 2012 Report mentions also severe cases of discrimination of religious minorities and the failure from the State to prevent sectarian attacks or bring the perpetrators to justice. In the meantime there are more than 8.000 prisoners on death row in same cases for blasphemy.
In this framework Mr. Paccanelli recalls “During the recent GSP revision it was repeatedly stated by the EU Commission that one of the main objectives of the new regime was to ensure that preferences were given to the countries that need them and in the case of GSP+ to countries that are promoting high Human, Social and Environmental standards. The available information clearly indicates that at least one of the applicant countries fails to fulfil the necessary conditions.”
An objective and proper assessment of the individual applications for GSP+ status is an essential condition to fulfil the main objectives of the scheme- promote high social, environmental and human rights standards.
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