Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea

EU Delegation to RoK Newsletter, January 2021

22/01/2021 - 09:33
EU Delegation to South Korea - Newsletter

Welcome to the monthly/bimonthly update of news and activities from the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Korea.

EU Ambassador, Chairman of ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff Discuss EU-ROK Security Cooperation

EU Ambassador to Korea H.E. Ms Maria Castillo Fernandez had a meeting with General Won In Choul, Chairman of the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the morning of the 27th of January. The two leaders discussed the security environment on the Korean Peninsula, as well as EU-ROK security cooperation. Ambassador Castillo Fernandez expressed her will to further the strategic partnership through continued EU-ROK security cooperation. General Won In Choul extended his gratitude for Ambassador Castillo Fernandez's endeavours to enhance the EU-ROK relations, and expressed his will to continue strengthening the EU-ROK security cooperation. Also, General Won asked for continued cooperation and support for various governmental efforts for complete denuclearisation and permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. Read more

Webinar: Green Finance to Accelerate the Transition to Sustainable and Clean Energy

The EU-Korea Climate Action Team organised the Green Finance Webinar together with the British Embassy, Canadian Embassy and the Energy Transition Forum on Wednesday, 27 January. EU Ambassador to Korea H.E. Ms Maria CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ introduced the European Green Deal, the EU's policy package towards a green sustainable future and highlighted the importance of green finance mechanisms. She said the EU's public investment will fully be in line with the Paris Agreement. She also stressed the importance of making private investment green.

Panel of Experts Confirms Korea in Breach of Labour Commitments Under Our Trade Agreement

The panel report published on Monday, 25 January confirmed the EU's concerns that Korea has not acted consistently with its trade and sustainable development obligations under the EU-Korea trade agreement. The independent panel concluded that Korea needs to adjust its labour laws and practices and to continue swiftly the process of ratifying four fundamental International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions in order to comply with the agreement. 

Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “This panel ruling shows the effectiveness of our cooperation-based approach to trade and sustainable development. We have closely engaged with our Korean partners for some years, and the panel of experts process led to concrete actions by Korea. We will be working closely with Korea to ensure it effectively implements commitments on workers' rights.”

Read full press release , Panel report , EU-Korea dispute settlement case 

More information on trade and sustainable development

EU Ambassador to Korea in Daejeon with KFS Minister to Exchange Views on Cooperation in Forestry with Green Deal

On 22 January, EU Ambassador to Korea H.E. Ms Maria CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ met with Minister Chong-ho PARK of the Korea Forest Service (KFS) at the government complex in Daejeon. During the meeting, the EU Ambassador and the KFS Minister exchanged views on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, such as the RoK's 2050 Carbon Neutral Strategy, European Green Deal, Korea's Green New Deal, the World Forestry Congress and the Peace Forest Initiative. EU Ambassador CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ expressed interest and expectations for mutual cooperation in the Korean forest sector with the "Green New Deal."

"The EU's interest in strengthening cooperation with the RoK is higher than ever, and we hope that the cooperation will continue to expand across various forest sectors, including trade in legal timber products," said the EU Ambassador to Korea. Read more

The events in Washington and what it means for Europe

Josep BORRELL, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, published a blog post on 10 January about the shocking events in Washington: a mob assaulting the Capitol Hill to prevent the vote to confirm Joe Biden as President of the country. HRVP BORRELL said "What we saw was only the climax of very worrying developments happening globally in recent years. It must be a wake-up call for all democracy advocates." You can read the full blog post both in English and in Korean.

Paris Agreement five years on - a renewed call for leadership

On 28 December, Korean newspaper Hankyoreh delivered an Op-Ed by EU Ambassador to Korea Maria CASTILLO-FERNANDEZ on the 5th Anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The full OpED "Paris Agreement five years on - a renewed call for leadership" in English can be read here.

Korean Chamber's 2021 Global Trade Environment Outlook Seminar

Christophe BESSE, Minister Counsellor and Head of the Trade Section at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea, was a speaker in the "Ambassador Round table” conference hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on 9 December 2020. The conference was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and sponsored by the European Chamber of Commerce Korea (ECCK). Ambassadors, industry leaders, and academics convened together to share their insights and knowledge on the outlook of international trade and the global economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Discussions centered around the future of trade policy and China relations under the new U.S. administration, the WTO reform agenda, as well as the prospects of CPTPP, RCEP and other mega-FTAs.

Korea-Europe Cooperation Presented at Global Korea Convention 2020 Organised by KIEP

On 11 December, John Bogaerts, Head of Political, Press, and Information section delivered opening remarks and participated in the discussions for the “Korea-Europe Cooperation” session organized by KIEP in the Global Korea Convention 2020. Academics and diplomats came together to discuss the Korea’s partnership with the EU as leading economies and supporters of multilateralism. The discussions focused on the past achievements and future prospects of Korea-Europe cooperation across politics, economics and security.

Mask Yourself With Recycled Waste Competition!

Are you a climate conscious artist interested in protecting our environment?

Do you believe that art and creativity can be a bridge between scientific warning and climate actions?

At a time when temperatures continue to break records and extreme weather are on the increase, the Paris climate agreement is more essential than ever.

The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea together with the Art of Change 21 (  is holding a “create your own mask from recycled trash” competition to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement (adopted at COP21). Click here to take part!

EU Delegation to Korea is looking for funded trainees for the first half of 2021!

Are you a young graduate interested in international relations? Are you curious to learn more about work of a diplomatic mission and how the EU Delegation represents EU interests and values in the Republic of Korea?

We offer traineeships of up to 6 months within the following sections of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Korea, starting in March to May 2021. The deadline for submitting applications is 29/01/2021. Don't miss it! More information here.

Upcoming events

  • EU-Korea Joint Committee, 9 February