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The New GSP+ Benefi ciaries: Ticking the Box or Truly Consistent with ILO Findings?

Jan Orbie (UGent) and Lisa Tortell
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Abstract
In the past decade, the European Union (EU) has committed itself to promoting the social dimension of globalization, focusing mostly on the promotion of labour standards internationally through increased cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and by means of its external trade policies. This article addresses these two dimensions of the Union’s global social policies, by examining whether EU practise in Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) labour conditionality has been consistent with ILO assessments. In particular, we utilize a ‘hierarchy of condemnation’ to examine the implementation record of core labour standards (CLS), as evaluated by the ILO committees entrusted with assessing countries’ observance of conventions. This analysis makes clear that, although EU decisions to sanction countries through its GSP scheme are traceable to the level of condemnation by the ILO, consistency between the granting of GSP+ incentives and ILO assessments is less clear-cut and cannot entirely be explained by the EU’s attempts to use GSP+ to stimulate the implementation of CLS. Finally a number of explanations for these fi ndings are given, pointing in particular to path-dependent processes in the EU decision-making system.
Keywords
European Union (EU), human rights, Trade, International Labour Organization (ILO), Conditionality, labour rights

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Citation

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Chicago
Orbie, Jan, and Lisa Tortell. 2009. “The New GSP+ Benefi Ciaries: Ticking the Box or Truly Consistent with ILO Findings?” European Foreign Affairs Review 14 (4): 663–681.
APA
Orbie, J., & Tortell, L. (2009). The New GSP+ Benefi ciaries: Ticking the Box or Truly Consistent with ILO Findings? European Foreign Affairs Review, 14(4), 663–681.
Vancouver
1.
Orbie J, Tortell L. The New GSP+ Benefi ciaries: Ticking the Box or Truly Consistent with ILO Findings? European Foreign Affairs Review. 2009;14(4):663–81.
MLA
Orbie, Jan, and Lisa Tortell. “The New GSP+ Benefi Ciaries: Ticking the Box or Truly Consistent with ILO Findings?” European Foreign Affairs Review 14.4 (2009): 663–681. Print.
@article{1092835,
  abstract     = {In the past decade, the European Union (EU) has committed itself to promoting the social dimension of globalization, focusing mostly on the promotion of labour standards internationally through increased cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and by means of its external trade policies. This article addresses these two dimensions of the Union{\textquoteright}s global social policies, by examining whether EU practise in Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) labour conditionality has been consistent with ILO assessments. In particular, we utilize a {\textquoteleft}hierarchy of condemnation{\textquoteright} to examine the implementation record of core labour standards (CLS), as evaluated by the ILO committees entrusted with assessing countries{\textquoteright} observance of conventions. This analysis makes clear that, although EU decisions to sanction countries through its GSP scheme are traceable to the level of condemnation by the ILO, consistency between the granting of GSP+ incentives and ILO assessments is less clear-cut and cannot entirely be explained by the EU{\textquoteright}s attempts to use GSP+ to stimulate the implementation of CLS. Finally a number of explanations for these fi ndings are given, pointing in particular to path-dependent processes in the EU decision-making system.},
  author       = {Orbie, Jan and Tortell, Lisa},
  issn         = {1384-6299},
  journal      = {European Foreign Affairs Review},
  keyword      = {European Union (EU),human rights,Trade,International Labour Organization (ILO),Conditionality,labour rights},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {663--681},
  title        = {The New GSP+ Benefi ciaries: Ticking the Box or Truly Consistent with ILO Findings?},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2009},
}