Korea- EU Political Relations
|July. 1963.||Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the European Community were established.|
|Nov. 1965.||The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the European Community, which was also accredited to the Kingdom of Belgium, was opened.|
|Feb. 1989.||An independent Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the European Community was established.|
|Jan. 1990.||The Representation of the European Commission to the Republic of Korea was opened.|
|Sep. 1998.||The Permanent Mission to the European Union and Embassy to the Kingdom of Belgium were merged.|
|July. 2010.||The Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Korea was renamed to Delegation of the European Union.|
|Oct. 2010.||Korea and the EU agreed to elevate their relationship into a Strategic Partnership.|
|Jun. 2014.||The Framework Agreement came into effect.|
|Nov. 2016.||The Framework Participation Agreement came into effect.|
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in July 1963, Korea and the EU have maintained friendly and cooperative relations in various fields. In the beginning, bilateral relations were more focused on economic and trade issues, while the EU was striving to deepen its economic integration.
As the EU developed its Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) over the past decade, political cooperation has attained more importance in bilateral relations. In addition, ever-deepening and expanding bilateral relations required an upgraded framework both for political and economic cooperation.
The「Framework Agreement for Trade and Cooperation」 and 「Joint Declaration on the Political Dialogue],which were signed in 1996, provided a basis for bilateral relations and set up a formal framework of regular political dialogues. Since then, the scope of the overall relationship has developed from a predominantly trade-based relationship to an active and broad-based cooperation. The areas of cooperation included regional issues including the Korean Peninsula, economic and trade issue, science and technology, the information society, education, social policy, customs, competition, environment and development cooperation, etc.
In May 2009, the 4th Korea-EU Summit was held in Seoul, for the first time on a stand-alone basis, and both leaders expressed their wish to elevate ROK-EU relations into a strategic partnership based on conclusion of the FTA and Framework Agreement(FA). The new upgraded Framework Agreement(FA) was signed in May 2010 and entered into force on June 1, 2014. The FTA was signed in October 2010 and entered into force on July 1, 2011.
Furthermore, Korea and the EU agreed to upgrade relations to a strategic partnership in the fifth ROK- EU Summit which took place in Brussels, capital of the EU presidency, on 6 October 2010, back-to-back with the 8th ASEM Summit.
The 7th Summit between the European Union and Korea took place in Brussels on 8 November 2013. The leaders representing the EU and Korea expressed their satisfaction at the remarkable development of the strategic partnership based on a growing and comprehensive engagement. They adopted a Joint Declaration commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations and setting out a vision for their future development.
Political Dialogue Channels
- Based on the 1996 Framework Agreement and Joint Declaration on the Political Dialogue, Korea and the EU have had a biennial Summit on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit since 2002 ; Copenhagen in 2002, Hanoi in 2004, Helsinki in 2006. The fourth Summit was held for the first time on a stand-alone basis in Seoul on 23 May 2009. Since then, the fifth Summit was held in 2010 on the occasion of the ASEM Summit, Brussels; the sixth Summit in 2012, Seoul; the seventh Summit in 2013, Brussels; the eighth Summit in 2015, Seoul; the ninth Summit in 2018, Brussels on the occasion of the ASEM Summit.
- A Korea-EU Troika Foreign Minister's Meeting has been annually held on the margins of the UN General Assembly and ASEAN Regional Forum Foreign Minister's Meeting held each July since 1990. Meetings between the Korean Foreign Minister and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy(HR/VP) have occurred much more frequently after the Seoul Summit in May 2009
- The Joint Committee Meeting, which has been held annually in accordance with the Framework Agreement since 2001, is an umbrella mechanism which covers comprehensive policy areas of mutual interest.
- The Enhanced Political Dialogue meeting takes place at the level of senior officials. The main purpose is an exchange of views on specific bilateral issues, regional situation and global issues.
- In addition, ad-hoc meetings between experts in the area of non-proliferation, development cooperation, environment and so on occur frequently in Seoul, Brussels and on the sidelines of international conferences.
- The 2010 Framework Agreement(FA), which was signed on 10 May 2010, is the overarching political cooperation framework which provides a basis for strengthened cooperation on bilateral and global issues.
Korea- EU Economic Relations
- In 2018, the EU was the third largest export partner (after China and the USA) and the second import partner in trade.
Trade and Investment
- Korean exports to the EU in 2018 amounted to $57.7 billion
- Korean imports from the EU in 2018 amounted to $62.3 billion
(Unit : USD Billions, %)
※ Source : KITA
- Korea’s investment in the EU from 1968 to 2018 total to $78.8 billion
- The EU’s investment in Korea from 1962 to 2018 total to $104.7 billion
(Unit : USD Billions)
※ Source : MOTIE, KEXIM
Korea-EU FTA and Bilateral Cooperation
- The Korea-EU FTA is the most comprehensive and high-level trade deal that either Korea or the EU have concluded so far. The Korea-EU FTA is a model agreement from a “new generation” of FTAs which both the EU and Korea will negotiate with other partner countries in the future.
- Under the Korea-EU FTA, import duties will be abolished for 99.9% of products and there has been an extensive liberalisation of trade in services. The Agreement eliminates tariffs for all industrial goods in a progressive, step-by-step approach. Only a limited number of agricultural products are excluded from tariff elimination. Additionally, the Agreement also addresses non-tariff measures, like technical regulations, which may affect trade.
- The FTA also covers issues ranging from services, investment, competition, government procurement, intellectual property rights, and transparency to sustainable development. The FTA also contains a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation, based on the commitment of both sides to promote cultural diversity, in accordance with the UNESCO Convention.
- Negotiations on the FTA were launched in May 2007 in Seoul. After eight formal rounds of talks, the FTA was initialled by both sides on 15 October 2009. On 6 October 2010 the Agreement was officially signed during the Korea-EU Summit in Brussels. The Agreement has been provisionally applied since 1 July 2011.
- To supervise and facilitate the implementation of the Korea-EU FTA, a Trade Committee, six specialized committees, seven working groups and an Intellectual Property Dialogue were established in 2011. The Trade Committee is held on an annual basis and it is co-chaired by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Energy of Korea and the Trade Commissioner of the EU. The economic ties between Korea and the EU have been substantially strengthened by the FTA.
- Korea and the EU have been expanding and developing their cooperation in the areas of industry, science, technology, education, statistics, maritime, fisheries, energy, environment, finance, customs and competition policy. To promote specific projects and expand cooperation in these sectors, The Korea-EU Joint Committee Meeting at the deputy ministerial-level has been held annually since 2001.
[Updated on 30 September 2019]