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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
photo: European External Action Service - EEAS/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

EU FTA talks to resume next week
Trade ministers from Korea and the European Union will meet in Seoul next week to iron out divisive issues related to a free trade deal, officials said yesterday.
Korea-EU FTA Talks to Be Sped Up
The government will speed up negotiations with the European Union to clinch a free trade deal with an aim to implement the agreement in January next year.
Korean, EU trade ministers to meet in January
South Korea and the EU hope to finalise their FTA in January
S. Korea, EU to Hold Free Trade Talks in Vienna
South Korea and the European Union will hold a meeting in Vienna this week to resolve contentious issues such as auto trade and rules of origin in their free trade negotiations, Yonhap News reported Sunday quoting officials.
EU firms have strong presence
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea proudly presented the Korea -EU Industrial Cooperation Day on December 10, and the third edition of the EU-Korea Awards, which honor not just European companies, but government authorities who have made a significant contribution to strengthening the relationship between the EU and Korea.
EU carmakers attack Korea trade proposal
European carmakers have attacked a proposed trade agreement with South Korea, claiming that it is lopsided and sacrifices their interests for the benefit of Europe’s services industries.
S. Korea, EU to hold talks on free trade deal next month
Trade ministers from South Korea and the European Union (EU) are expected to meet in Brussels early next month to iron out divisive issues related to their free trade negotiations, officials said Sunday.
Seoul, Brussels reaffirm pledge to strike free trade deal by year end
South Korea and the European Union (EU) have reaffirmed that they will strike a free trade deal by the end of the year, a top Seoul trade official said Friday.
EU, South Korea deal worries Turkey
A soon-to-be-finalized free trade agreement between the European Union and South Korea is causing concern for Turkey, as its market will be indirectly opened to South Korean products due to its customs union agreement with the EU.
South Korea, EU to seek package solution on free trade deal
Chief negotiators from South Korea and the European Union have agreed to seek a package solution on controversial issues such as auto trade after failing to narrow their gap in three-day free trade talks, officials said Friday.


  • 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.