EU-South Korea: 7th summit celebrates 50 years of bilateral cooperation

In addition to a declaration marking this 50th anniversary, European and South Korean leaders are to sign an agreement on exchanges of scientific researchers.

On 8 November, Brussels will host the seventh bilateral summit between the EU and South Korea. Presidents Herman Van Rompuy (European Council) and José Manuel Barroso (Commission) and their South Korean guest, Park Geun-hye, who took up her duties at the beginning of the year, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the EU and the Republic, which came into being in August 1948.

This relationship has developed, over the decades, into a strategic partnership created in 2010, stated Van Rompuy and Barroso, speaking on the eve of the meeting, which will also be attended by Commissioners Karel De Gucht (Trade) and Maire Geoghegan Quinn (Science, Research and Innovation).

Talks will focus on the development of bilateral relations, which are governed by the 2001 framework agreement on trade and cooperation, and fed into on a commercial level by the free-trade agreement concluded in 2009 which entered into force on 1 July 2011. In the second year of implementation, EU exports to South Korea grew by 24%, or €7 billion, and its imports from the peninsula fell by 6%. For the first time in 15 years, the EU recorded a trade surplus with South Korea, as the deficit was down in the automotive sector.

In the services sector, the EU also recorded a surplus in 2011 compared to 2010 (+9% for exports, – 2% for imports). The summit will also provide the opportunity to take stock of cooperation in the field of science, technology and education. The Europeans and the South Koreans are expected to sign an agreement to promote South Korean researchers coming to the EU as well as a declaration on extending cooperation in higher education. The partners will also discuss the forthcoming agreement on South Korea’s involvement in the EU’s crisis management operations.

The major global challenges (global economic situation, climate change, development, cyber-security, human rights and non-proliferation) will also be on the agenda, as will regional (Korean peninsular and eastern Asia) and international (Egypt, Syria and Iran) security issues.

Source: Agence Europe


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