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
In early signs that the renegotiation of Korea’s free trade agreement with the U.S. was the thin end of the wedge, the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Korea said Monday it is reexamining environmental and safety clauses in the automotive segment of the Korea-EU FTA.
The Korean government is urging European businessmen to lobby lawmakers in their home countries to ratify the Korea-EU free trade agreement.
The European Parliament has postponed a vote on attaching safeguards to a free-trade deal between the EU and South Korea because of disagreements with the European Commission and member states.
Wisconsin cheese makers are reacting to a free trade agreement between the European Union and South Korea which may require them to re-name their cheeses.
For Japan, which has been unable to even start negotiations with the EU on a similar free-trade arrangement, the agreement could deal a heavy blow to its auto and electronics industries.
The European Union and South Korea signed a free-trade deal yesterday that could double trade between them and trigger a rush among Asian states to enter into trade pacts with the EU.
L’Union européenne a donné jeudi son feu vert à un accord de libre-échange d’une ampleur sans précédent avec la Corée du Sud, l’Italie ayant levé un veto qu’elle brandissait du fait d’inquiétudes pour son industrie automobile, a annoncé la présidence belge de l’UE.
The European Union’s presidency said the 27-nation bloc has agreed to sign a free trade deal with South Korea after overcoming objections from Italy, which feared the pact would hurt its ailing auto industry, according to Yonhap news agency on Thursday.
An EU source said all major stumbling blocs had been removed, making Italy’s agreement on the multibillion dollar free trade deal likely.
European Union ministers meeting on Monday gave Italy until Thursday to decide whether it wants to confirm its veto on a free-trade agreement with South Korea, diplomats told the German Press Agency dpa.