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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 automakers urge Brussels to ditch SKorea trade deal
European auto manufacturers on Monday urged Brussels not to sign a free trade agreement with South Korea due to be inked over the coming days.
S. Korea to build farming infrastructure in Tanzania
South Korea will develop 100,000 ha of farmland in Tanzania and make inroads into European markets, thanks to the EU-Korean FTA, a state-run rural development corporation said Thursday.
Korea, Italy to expedite FTA
The leaders of South Korea and Italy agreed to expedite a free trade agreement between Seoul and the European Union yesterday in a summit in which culture eclipsed politics.
S Korea, EU to initial free trade deal next month
South Korea and the European Union will initial their bilateral free trade agreement in October as the both sides completed legal reviews of the deal this week, Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Thursday.
Brussels divided over Korean trade deal
An agreement between the EU and South Korea worth billions of dollars has been put on hold after politicians balked at trade conditions
Korea, EU conclude FTA talks
Korea and the European Union Monday declared the conclusion of more than two years of negotiations for a free trade agreement.
EU trade deal would sell cars, hurt farmers
The Korea-EU free trade agreement, if it crystallizes, is set to deal a blow to Korea’s agricultural sector, since the average tariff on imported farming products is a relatively high 41.6 percent.
S. Korea, EU to announce conclusion of FTA later Monday: official
South Korea and the European Union (EU) have reached agreement on a proposed free trade deal, leaving only initialing and signing of the agreement before it can be submitted to their respective legislatures for ratification, a South Korean official said Monday.
South Korea-EU FTA’s poisonous articles
Although the Lee Myung Bak administration is not revealing any concrete details, if you look at the draft agreement that has been unofficially confirmed, the content of the South Korea-EU FTA is just as worrisome as that found within the FTA with the US.
EU-South Korea trade pact marks trouble, Ford says
A proposed trade pact between South Korea and the European Union is one-sided and could threaten automobile manufacturing in Western Europe, a top Ford Motor Co executive said on Thursday.


  • 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.