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GSP Engagement Week - Online

22 - 25 March 2021

14:00 - 16:00, Online (Webex)

Please scroll down to download the summary report or re-watch the recordings of the individual sessions.


From 22 to 25 March, the GSP Hub hosted the virtual GSP Engagement Week, bringing together representatives of the European Commission, representatives from civil society, academia, industry and trade associations, as well as EU and beneficiary country public officials. The GSP Engagement Week engaged stakeholders from the EU and GSP beneficiary countries in a discussion on a  variety of contemporary issues relating to the EU GSP. 

Join us for a discussion on the interplay between the economic rationale and the values perspective of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. Let's discuss how the GSP can help economic diversification, what kind of opportunities it presents for EU producers, and how civil and environmental targets can be achieved in beneficiary countries.

Each Webinar will feature an expert input talk followed by a panel discussion.


  • Monday, 22 March: Opening and Welcome, the GSP and Export Diversification 
    • 14:00 Introduction and Welcome by the EU Commission: Ms Ewa Synowiec, Director of Directorate C, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, Asia (II), Trade and Sustainable Development, Green Deal, DG Trade 
    • 14:05 Opening Keynote: Ms Heidi Hautala, MEP 
    • 14:20 Input Talk - The GSP and Export Diversification
      • Mr Manuel Pauser, Co-chair of the FESI Trade committee & Vice President, Global Government Affairs, adidas
    • 14:35 Panel Discussion moderated by Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub 
      • H.E. Ms Grace Asirwatham, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Belgium and the EU
      • Mr Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA)
      • Ms Sofia Bournou, Senior Adviser, International Relations Department, BusinessEurope


  • Tuesday, 23 March: The GSP and Green Economy 
    • 14:00 Input Talk - The GSP and Green Economy (click here to download the presentation
      • Ms Marianne Kettunen, Principal Policy Analyst and Head of Programme Global Challenges and SDGs, Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) 
    • 14:15 Panel Discussion moderated by Mr Stefan Sipka, Policy Analyst, Sustainable Prosperity for Europe programme, European Policy Centre
      • Mr Arthur ten Wolde, Executive Director and Circular Economy expert of
      • Mr Harald Past, Head, International trade & Taxation, EuroCommerce
      • Mr Ronald Steenblik, Non-resident Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development



  • Wednesday, 24 March: The GSP and Labour Rights 
    • 14:00 Input Talk - The GSP and Labour Rights (click here to download the presentation
      • Dr Marva Corley-Coulibaly, Chief of the Globalization, Competitiveness and Labour Standards unit, ILO Research Department
    • 14:15 Panel Discussion moderated by Dr Willem van der Geest, Team Leader, GSP Hub
      • Mr Saad Muhammad, Deputy General Secretary, Pakistan Workers Federation
      • Mr Anton Marcus, Joint Secretary of the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union, Sri Lanka 
      • Ms Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary, IndustriAll



  • Thursday, 25 March: The GSP and Inclusive Growth 
    • 14:00 Input Talk - The GSP and Inclusive Growth 
      • Mr Anders Aeroe, Director Division of Enterprises and Institutions, International Trade Centre  
    • 14:15 Panel Discussion moderated by Dr Hanna Norberg, CEO and Founder, Trade Economista
      • Ms Samira Rafaela, MEP, INTA and FEMM Committees
      • Dr San Bilal, Head of Programme Trade, Investment and Finance, Economic and Agricultural Transformation Programme, European Centre for Development Policy Management
      • Ms Evelyne Paradis, Executive Director, ILGA-Europe
      • Dr Annette Pelkmans-Bataloing, Trade and Development Economist
      • Ms Beatrice Gakuba,, Executive Director, African Women Agribusiness Network 
    • 15:45 Closing Session
      • Ways forward: The Trade Policy Review and the Review of the GSP, Mr Ulrich Weigl, Head of Unit - Trade and Sustainable Development, EU Commission, DG Trade 



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