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,

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

While 2020 proved to be a difficult year for all of us around the world, we start 2021 with hope, optimism and solidarity. As a unity of 27 European Member States, we are working internally and externally to tackle global challenges such as the pandemic crisis, rolling out vaccination across the EU and providing medical relief beyond borders.

In 2021, the EU will continue to promote a recovery leveraged by the climate and digital transitions, taking a leading role in climate action and digital transformation. We will strengthen Europe’s autonomy whilst remaining open to the world.

As the EU Ambassador to Korea, I can assure you that the EU, more than ever, looks forward to reinforcing our cooperation with the RoK, a truly strategic and like-minded partner of the EU. The EU-RoK Strategic Partnershipwill continue to play a vital role in moving relations forward to the benefit of all.

We will push forward the green recovery agenda and fight against climate change together, in pursuit of our shared goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

In 2021 we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the entry into force of the EU-Korea FTA. Indeed, the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the first Free Trade Agreement signed by the EU with any Asian partner, entered into force on the 1st of July 2011. This landmark agreement significantly boosted bilateral trade in both directions, notably by removing import tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods. Today, the EU and Korea trade close to 100 billion EUR worth of goods annually. Beyond tariff elimination, the agreement offers more opportunities for services suppliers, removes cumbersome and expensive testing and certification procedures for trade of electronics, automobiles, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, provides better protection of intellectual property rights, ensures stronger competition rules and enforces a commitment to sustainable development.

The EU and the RoK will also seek to jointly address security challenges and tackle issues such as cyberattacks and piracy. The EU stands with the RoK in building lasting peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, where we can bring our experience in conflict prevention and crisis management around the world.

I cannot stress enough that global challenges do not respect national boundaries. And this is why we believe in multilateral approaches, despite widespread protectionism and the rise of nationalism. In 2021, the EU and the RoK will and should persist with addressing issues that determine our future. We hope you will join us in this meaningful journey ahead.

Thank you for visiting our website, and for your continued interests in the EU-RoK relations.

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


Head of Political Section

Head of Trade section
Christophe BESSE

Head of Administration


Press and Information Officer
Jungyoon Chloe KIM

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