The Mid-Term Evaluation

The Mid-Term Evaluation of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)

On 2 May 2016, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission (DG Trade) published its roadmap for the interim evaluation of Regulation (EU) No. 978/2012 on a scheme of generalised tariff preferences (‘the GSP Regulation’). The Commission will present its findings on the performance of the scheme to the European Parliament and the Council in November 2017 in the 2017 GSP Evaluation Report.

To support the Commission’s 2017 GSP Evaluation Report, DG Trade contracted DEVELOPMENT Solutions Europe Ltd. to conduct an in-depth quantitative and qualitative assessment of the economic, social, environmental and human rights impact of the scheme in the beneficiary countries. The Final Report will answer the following evaluation questions:


  • To what extent are the objectives of the current GSP on track to be achieved?
  • What has been the impact of the present scheme on developing countries and LDCs?
  • What are the factors (positive and negative) influencing the achievements observed?
  • What unintended consequences, if any, can be linked to the design, implementation, or use of the current GSP?
  • To what extent is the current GSP efficient?
  • To what extent is the current GSP coherent with the EU’s relevant policies?
  • To what extent is the current GSP scheme relevant to the development needs which it is intended to address?


The analysis will build upon two complementary approaches, combining quantitative and qualitative methods: (1) a scientific and objective assessment of the scheme’s impact using state-of-the-art available indicators and up-to-date international trade measurement techniques; and (2) an inclusive and extensive consultation process with knowledgeable and affected stakeholder groups.

The analysis will focus on the impact and functioning of the GSP in six case studies. These case studies will analyse the impact of GSP on the textiles and machinery sectors, the impact of GSP+ in Pakistan and Bolivia, and the impact of EBA in Ethiopia and Bangladesh. The case studies will be supplemented by a wide-range of consultations which are intended to engage a diverse group of stakeholders.

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