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
Korea is expressing strong concerns over France’s proposed revision of electric vehicle subsidies as it could violate the Korea-European Union Free Trade Agreement, according to industry officials and trade experts.
Korea will push to clinch a bilateral pact on digital trade with the European Union to facilitate trade in the digital realm and to enhance industry cooperation, the industry ministry said.
South Korea called on the European Union to ensure its new acts on batteries, critical minerals and net-zero goals are not discriminatory against foreign companies, as the two sides seek to enhance trade and industry ties, Seoul’s industry ministry said.
The CEO of the Korean-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also called for Seoul and Brussels to launch the renegotiation process for the Korea-EU free trade agreement to reflect changes in green regulations.
Eleven years after the EU and South Korea signed a free trade agreement, South Korean Trade Minister is seeking to modernise it by including investment protection and new technologies.
The EU Commission fails to enforce trade agreements’ social and environmental norms. Just look at the case of South Korea.
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.
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.
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 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.