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,

A few days ago we changed three photos in our office: The new EU leadership with President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel, President of the European Council and the new EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell took up their functions.

The announcement of the European Green Deal only a few days later is a clear sign that climate change is on the top of the priority list, not only in Europe but worldwide. Therefore we seek the energetic cooperation of Korea in setting (more) ambitious goals to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 the latest. The recurrent fine dust cloud all over Korea serves as a wakeup call and motivates citizens to demand concrete actions to remedy the situation and not just palliative measures. The EU-Korea Climate Action aiming to assist non-government actors in Europe and Korea to work together and to push governments into action is timely and seeks public support.

Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula is still in high demand as tensions rise: In addition to missiles tests a new war of words seems to be brewing with the return of "rocket man" and the "dotard". DPRK officials are saying they have nothing to lose while President Trump is warning they have everything to lose. A comprehensive and multilateral approach might help to overcome the stalemate and prevent that the clock turns back to 2017.

The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement remains a guarantee for the rules based approach to international trade which the EU champions in its drive to foster multilateralism. After all, the EU is Korea's fourth largest trading partner and the largest investor in Korea. At a media conference when the European Chamber of Commerce I presented its yearly White Book with proposals on how to improve the business climate in Korea I underlined again that we should modernise the FTA in the interest of Korean and European companies, a message which was picked up by Minister Yoo. Concerning the long simmering problem of import of European beef I could finally taste Dutch veal – we have to accelerate to offer the Korean consumer the choice to buy European beef, pork and poultry products. We continue the Gateway Business Mission program  – not surprisingly the last one featuring organic food and drinks was a great success. 

In implementing security cooperation in and with Asia we encourage Korea to continue its participation in the operation ATALANTA, assuring safety for the shipping lanes of the coast of Somalia, even if other challenges arise.

The Connectivity strategy covering infrastructure for all modes of transport, energy as well as people are part of our comprehensive approach to security. I hope to reach an agreement with Korea on Connectivity Partnership in 2020; the New Southern and Northern Policy ties well with this project.  

Supporting multilateralism, fostering rule of law remain the underlying policies, not least to preserve a cooperative liberal international order from which we have and continue to profit in terms of economics and security. In times of mounting protectionism and populism the EU-Korea Strategic Partnership is challenged to deliver on these global commons in mutual interest.

In 2020 we will have the EU-Korea Summit in Seoul where leaders will have the possibility to further improve an already productive and close partnership.  

I wish all the readers happy holidays, all the best for 2020 and stay tuned with us in checking this website and our social media accounts FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Naver Blog. If you want to receive our newsletter, please click here. Furthermore, you are welcome to follow my personal impressions on Twitter and Instagram.

Merry Christmas and Happy 2020!

Michael Reiterer

Photo Gallery of EU Ambassador Michael REITERER



Austrian citizen, born 1954 in Innsbruck


2017-present                       Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the European Union to the Republic of Korea

2012 – 2016                           Principal Advisor, Asia and Pacific Department, European External Action Service (EEAS), Brussels

2007 - 2011                            EU-Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, Bern

2002 - 2006                            Minister, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan, Tokyo

1998 - 2002                            ASEM (Asia-Europe Meeting) Counselor, Department for External Relations, European Commission, Brussels

1997 - 1998                     Minister Counselor, Permanent Representation of Austria to the European Union, Brussels; Counsellor at the European Economic and Social Committee.

1992 - 1997                        Deputy Director General, Department for European Integration and Trade Policy, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Vienna

1996 - 1997                            Co-chair/trade of the Joint Session of the trade and environment experts, OECD, Paris

1996                                         Panelist at the World Trade Organization (WTO)

1990 - 1992                            Counselor, Austrian Permanent Representation to the GATT, Geneva

1989 - 1995                            Negotiator, GATT Uruguay Round, on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economics, Vienna

1985 - 1988                            Deputy Austrian Trade Commissioner for Japan, Tokyo

1982 - 1985                            Deputy Austrian Trade Commissioner for Western Africa, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

1981                                         Trainee, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Vienna

1980                                         Researcher, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva


Academic career

2005                                         Adjunct professor for international politics, University of Innsbruck (venia docendi)

1979 - 1981                            Diploma in international relations, Graduate Institute for International Studies, Geneva

1978 - 1979                Diploma in international relations, Johns Hopkins University – School for Advanced International Studies, Bologna Center

1973 - 1978                            Doctorate in law, University of Innsbruck

Ambassador, Head of Delegation

Michael Reiterer

Head of Political Section
Joelle Hivonnet 

Head of Trade section
Christophe Besse

Head of Administration
Gabrielle Hutcheson

Press and Information Officer
Chloe Jungyoon Kim

Editorial Sections: