On 16 April, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a phone call with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Ms. Kang Kyung-hwa, to discuss efforts to fight the global coronavirus pandemic and review the bilateral partnership between the EU and the Republic of Korea. High Representative Borrell and Foreign Minister Kang agreed that the coronavirus outbreak is a global crisis, requiring a strong multilateral response to prevent the virus from spreading and to address its socio-economic impact. In this context, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell expressed his appreciation for the successful steps taken by the Republic of Korea to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the country. He presented the comprehensive set of actions taken by the EU to address the pandemic and its immediate economic and social consequences, both within the European Union and beyond its borders. They agreed that it was essential to support the most vulnerable populations and countries in their response to the outbreak. The EU, the European Financial Institutions and the EU Member States have pledged a €20 billion package to that end.
The High Representative and the Foreign Minister also discussed the EU-Republic of Korea bilateral agenda in 2020. The EU and the Republic of Korea are strategic and like-minded partners, planning to hold their next Summit in the near future. The High Representative expressed his expectation that the upcoming Summit would allow the EU and the Republic of Korea to take forward their joint work on matters of common interest.