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EU-Korea

In May 2007, the European Union and South Korea started negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement. It took effect on 1 July 2011.

This deal is part of the EU’s post-2006 "Global Europe" strategy to boost the competitiveness of EU corporations in the world by securing deeper commitments to neoliberal policies from trading partners, including expanded rights for European transnationals. In Korea, the European Union is trying to win equal, if not better, footing against US firms after the conclusion of the US-Korea FTA. (The EU makes stronger demands than the US on Korea in the areas of intellectual property, services, competition policy and environmental standards.)

Social movements from both sides mobilised against the deal’s potential impacts. One flashpoint of concern is for Korea’s agricultural sector, where pig farmers in particular are expected to suffer from an influx of subsidised EU pork as a result of this deal.

last update: May 2012


S. Korea to become global test case in its trade dispute with the EU
The European Commission’s request to convene a panel of experts in its dispute with South Korea over labor issues means that South Korea is becoming a major global test case.
EU warns of initiating expert panel if S. Korea fails to resolve ILO ratification
The European Commission warned that it will seek to launch an expert panel to review South Korea’s compliance with the free trade pact it signed with the European Union if it fails to ratify key international labor conventions.
EU urges S. Korea to ratify ILO conventions
The European Commission asked South Korea to start consultations on labor issues under a dispute settlement mechanism in the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter in the bilateral free trade agreement implemented in 2011.
European businesses call for FTA revisions
European business leaders in Korea have urged the Korean government to begin talks on amendments to the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, citing overall changes in various industries since the deal first took effect in July 2011.
S. Korea, EU agree to continue developing FTA
South Korea’s finance minister said a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) should be further developed despite Britain’s recent exit from the world’s biggest economic bloc.
S Korea to review free trade accord with EU
The South Korean government said that it will review the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with the European Union (EU) following Britain’s exit from the bloc.
Seoul prefers ISDS for its investment chapter but could consider ICS
High-level South Korean diplomats have expressed their preference for the old investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system over the Investment Court System (ICS) in the framework of a future investment chapter in the EU-South Korea FTA.
EU ratification process of FTA with South Korea done and dusted
The European Commission intends to announce in mid October its plans to revise the deal in order to add the missing investment protection chapter to it.
Korea: Trade deficit with EU exceeds $10 billion
It all started after the FTA went into effect. Korea had posted 11 straight years of trade surpluses with the EU from 1998 to 2011, but the balance shift into the red in 2012.
Trade commission recognizes damage from EU FTA to S. Korean firms
So far, 40 Korean companies have claimed damage from the country’s FTAs, with 18 of them claiming damage from the Korea-EU FTA. Out of the total, 30 have been awarded damage.

    Links


  • EU-Korea FTA SIA
    The EU-Korea FTA Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) is intended to produce studies in order to provide a deeper understanding of the sustainability impacts of the trade and investment aspects of the Free Trade Agreement and of the mechanisms through which they might affect both the EU and Korea.