Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea

About the EU Delegation to the Republic of Korea

10/05/2016 - 15:02
About us - structure and organisation

The  EU delegation in the  Republic of  Korea is one of the 142 EU diplomatic missions located around the world.

The Role of the Delegation

  • To represent the Union, as appropriate, in the Republic of Korea.
  • To inform the European Union on political, social, economic, external relations and trade developments in the Republic of Korea and, in this regard, to maintain contact with the principal players in the fields of politics and public life generally, the economy, business, civil society and higher education.
  • To ensure a smooth and fruitful development of bilateral relations in the political, economic, commercial and co-operation fields and to seek to develop and encourage initiatives to promote co-operation under the Framework Agreement
  • To monitor and ensure implementation of the EU-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement
  • To promote and protect the EU’s interests and values and to spread knowledge and raise awareness of developments in the EU, its policies, purposes and aims with a view to engendering a better understanding of EU affairs and establishing a higher profile for the EU.
  • To promote the EU’s policies in all areas.
  • To foster close co-operation on EU matters with Member States’ missions via regular meetings at Ambassador, Counsellor, Information and Administration Officer levels.
  • To carry out press and information activities in pursuit of the above objectives.

 


Dear visitor,

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the official website of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of Korea (RoK). It is also a great opportunity to introduce myself as the newly appointed EU Ambassador to the RoK. 

Working on and in Asia for over more than two decades, this is my second time serving as a diplomat in the RoK representing the EU. I am impressed to see how much Korea has changed.

The RoK has long been a like-minded partner of the EU since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1963. Under the Strategic Partnership declared in 2010, our cooperation spans political, trade and security issues. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Partnership, which is celebrated with the logo that won the competition we launched. 

The EU is an active supporter of peace and stability onthe Korean Peninsula. As the world’s largest economic bloc, the EU is the 3rd largest export partner of the RoK after China and the U.S., while the RoK ranks the 8thlargest export market for the EU. 

We cooperate on regional and global issues of concern, such as strengthening the international rules-based system, security and multilateralism. We have bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including education, science and technology and climate change. Recently, the EU and the RoK agreed on the need to advance our joint work in fighting against COVID-19 by developing vaccine.

The EU Delegation to the RoK and I, as the EU Ambassador to the RoK, will spare no effort in promoting political, economic and cultural exchanges between the EU and the RoK, despite challenges posed by the pandemic. Our website provides an overview of the EU’s latest relations with the RoK. We will continue to improve and update the website, so that it can be of great help to all of you who visit us. 

Our cooperation will intensify, serving our mutual interest: we are stronger together!

Thank you.

Maria CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ, EU Ambassador to Korea

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Maria CASTILLO FERNANDEZ, European diplomat/official of Spanish nationality, now Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Korea, previously EU Ambassador in Malaysia from 2016-2020, Head of Division for India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh since September 2012 at the European External Action Service of the European Union, in charge of managing and coordinating the European Union's overall relations with these South Asian countries as well as with the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

From 2008 to September 2012, posted in Hong Kong, representing the EU as the Head of the Office of the European Union accredited to Hong Kong and Macao SARs.

From September 2005-2008, she worked as Deputy Head of Mission at the EU Delegation in Seoul (Republic of Korea) in charge of EU political relations and economic cooperation activities with the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Prior to this, Ms Castillo was responsible, in Brussels, for the European Commission’s overall relations with the Korean Peninsula, including both Republic of Korea and DPRK (2000-2005).

An extensive career in the European Commission also included posting as:

  • Desk Officer for relations with Russia (1996-2000) in charge of implementing the European political and economic relations with Russia;
  • Legal Advisor and manager of research programmes in the field of exchanges and mobility of EU scientists and research networks (1990-1996);
  • Legal Advisor in charge of thematic human rights issues, with publications on the right of children under European law in the European Law Review (1989).

Ms Castillo completed postgraduate studies in European law, economics and international relations with two masters, one at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and a second at the Institute of European Studies (Strasbourg, France) following a degree in law from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain).

Her mother tongue is Spanish but she is fluent in English and French, with good knowledge of German and Dutch and passive knowledge of Portuguese and Italian. She has some notions of Mandarin and Korean from her postings abroad.

Ms Castillo was decorated with the Cruz de Oficial de la Orden del Mérito Civil by the King of Spain on 24 June 2008 for strengthening relations between the EU and the Korean Peninsula.

 

Ambassador, Head of Delegation

H.E. Maria CASTILLO FERNANDEZ

Head of Political Section
John BOGAERTS

Head of Trade section
Christophe BESSE

Head of Administration

Gabrielle HUTCHESON

Press and Information Officer
Jungyoon Chloe KIM

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