The EU granted GSP+ status of Pakistan aimed to foster economic stability and good governance in the country. However, Pakistan's progress vis-a-vis both objectives remains far below the potential. It could not significantly take advantage of enhanced tariff reductions under GSP+ to realize the diversification and value-addition of its exports. Meanwhile, Pakistan's performance in implementing 27 UN conventions - mandatory for a GSP+ beneficiary - needs improvement. The EU assessed the country's overall performance, in this regard, as satisfactory but noted certain human rights violations. In this connection, it has recently started a process for possible 'temporary withdrawal' of Pakistan's GSP+ status. Drawing on the theory of Discursive Institutionalism, this paper analyses challenges and prospects for the GSP+ status of Pakistan. The paper argues that the GSP+ withdrawal will aggravate the economic vulnerability of Pakistan; however, the EU will possibly not exercise this option in view of various economic and political factors.
1-Muhammad Riaz Shad : Associate Professor & Jean Monnet Chair (Under Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union), Department of International Relations, National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad, Pakistan.
European Union, Pakistan, GSP+ Status, UN Conventions, Human Rights, Challenges, Prospects