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The Role of the Delegation
Summitry is in overdrive: after the historic beginning at Panmunjom between the two Koreas, Trump-Kim in Singapore, Kim-Xi times three, Moon-Trump, Moon-Putin… Despite freezing temperatures the Pyongyang Olympics have broken the ice. The water is still very cold, not good for swimming thus the process towards denuclearisation, with all the adjectives has to continue.
These developments showed clearly that the EU policy of “critical engagement” e.g. maximum pressure while keeping lines of communication open to achieve the denuclearisation of the Peninsula has become mainstream politics. The EU supports this diplomatic process wholeheartedly and is engaged actively – Foreign Minister Kang was invited by the EU High Representative Mogherini to address all EU foreign ministers in Brussels, the Secretary General of the EU’s diplomatic service, the European External Action Service, followed up with a successful visit to Seoul.
The results of competition of journalists having written the best article on the Paralympics is known – they are preparing to travel to Brussels in fall.
As 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea we have chosen a logo created by a student participating in the “EU Goes to School “ project a real bottom up approach by the next generation! If you want to know more about the EU Goes to School project, click here.
In order to make the logo better known we projected it on our building and promoted it together with the idea of “connectivity” at the Europe Day reception. Connectivity will also be the main theme of the ASEM summit the EU will host in Brussels in October.
The announced seminar on Social Dialogue brought the two main trade unions at one table – there is a difference in the culture of dialogue within the EU and Korea on which we will have to continue working to establish trust, a precondition for dialogue.
The Gateway Business Mission on European design had a very good turn out and media echo. We are planning the next one in September on organic food and beverages, a very topical issue reflecting change in lifestyles.
We continue applying the mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement and are committed with Korea to maintain the multilateral trading system. In times of growing trade conflicts like-minded partners have to stay the course of the rule-based trading system to avoid falling back into the dark times of trade wars, a typical lose-lose situation. Thus, modernising and updating the FTA is in mutual interest. We are also hopeful that after years of negotiations European beef will hit the Korean shelves soon to increase the choice of consumers.
A recent documentary by Arirang TV on my work in Korea as part of the series “The Diplomat” shows the main issues of the EU-Korea relationship – click here.
Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Korea