The EU delegation in the Republic of Korea is one of the 137 EU diplomatic missions located around the world.
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The Role of the Delegation
Having spent the larger part of the hot summer in Seoul, I profited from the week after Chuseok to travel the Western part of the country from North to South, visiting the main sights but also driving small mountain roads, watching farmers harvesting chili and apples, admiring rice fields in the late afternoon light, socking in hot springs and spending a night on the floor in the Hahoe village, and finally chilling out at the opening night of the 22nd Busan International Film Festival opening enjoying watching Glass Garden. Tip for film freaks: join us at the EUNIC Film Festival 2017, which will start on Saturday, 21 October for 5 weeks at the Seoul Museum of History and will coincide with the Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
This was a nice change from Seoul and to take a break from the valid concerns about the situation caused by the missile and nuclear tests in the North. The EU supports the parallel approach of President Moon of sanctions and pressure while pushing for a diplomatic and not military solution to the problems.
The EU has reaffirmed its policy of Critical Engagement combining pressure while keeping communication and dialogue channels open and expressed its readiness to support such a process in consultation with key partners. Having sent for the first time a special envoy also to the European Union President Moon signaled his interest in enhancing cooperation with the EU not only in terms of foreign policy but also in studying the European social model. Foreign Minister Kang and the EU High Representative Mogherini have already established a good personal relationship which facilitates high level contacts.
The last Gateway Business Mission concentrating on water and waste technologies drew a large number of visitors and hopefully contributes to the enhancing the business relations between the EU and the Republic of Korea. The incoming mission focuses on of the pet themes of Koreans, actually not only Koreans, food and drinks, organic food and drinks to be precise.
I am also proud to say that we stand firm with our Korean partners in applying the mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreement and the multilateral trading system. Europe is open for business as is Korea and thereby we strengthen the trust in the multilateral trading system. When the European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom visited Seoul in the context of the ASEM Trade Ministers' meeting she could take stock of six years of implementation of the Free Trade Agreement and underlined the need to keep the multilateral system open: “Protectionism does not protect” was her precise message.
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EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea