EU-Sri Lanka relations: A bond between trade and human rights

Elapata, Deshika

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The European Union (EU) is Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner. The country has been a periodical beneficiary of the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) for the last 15 years. Through the utilisation of the GSP+ mechanism, the EU aims to help Sri Lanka boost its trade, comply with International Human Rights conventions, and achieve Upper-middle income (Umi) country status. However, when Sri Lanka does achieve Upper-middle income status, it will automatically lose eligibility for GSP+ benefits. How will Sri Lanka continue to maintain significant trade relations when removed from the list of GSP+ beneficiaries? It is argued here that Sri Lanka is not ready to be excised from the GSP scheme. The country must overcome social, ethnic, and religious cleavages in a post-conflict scenario; it is essential for the EU to ensure the continued provision of trade benefits. The GSP+ status is of utmost importance to consolidate current economic achievements – as well as improve the quality of democracy in the country. Prospects in EU-Sri Lanka ties beyond trade preferential schemes must also be explored.

Document type: Book
Publisher: SADF - South Asia Democratic Forum
Place of Publication: Brussels
Date: 2020
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2021
Number of Pages: 23
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: Political science
Controlled Keywords: Sri Lanka, Europäische Union, Verfassung, Reform, Handel
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sri Lanka, Europäische Union, EU, Generalisiertes Schema der Präferenzen (GSP), GSP+, Land mit oberem mittlerem Einkommen (UMI), Land mit unterem mittlerem Einkommen (LMI), Handelsvorteile, Handelspräferenzen, Internationale Konventionen / Sri Lanka, European Union, EU, Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), GSP+, Upper-middle income (UMI) country, Lower-middle income country (LMI), Trade benefits, Trade preferences, International conventions
Subject (classification): Politics
Countries/Regions: Sri Lanka
other countries
Series: Themen > SADF Working Papers
Volume: 23