- Press Releases
16th ROK-EU Joint Committee Meeting Takes Place
1. The 16th meeting of the Joint Committee between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the European Union (EU) took place in Brussels on January 21, bringing together some 50 delegates from both sides. The ROK delegation was led by Yun Kang-hyeon, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The EU delegation was led by Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
° The two delegations included officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the Personal Information Protection Commission (PIPC) and the ROK Embassy to the EU, on the ROK side, and officials from the EEAS and the Directorate-General for Trade of the European Commission, on the EU side.
2. The ROK and the EU noted that their strategic partnership, based on shared values, has deepened across sectors by virtue of the three major bilateral agreements - the ROK-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Framework Agreement and Crisis Management Participation Agreement.
° Recalling the telephone conversation on December 1, 2019 between President Moon Jae-in and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, where the two leaders agreed to work closely together to strengthen the strategic partnership between the ROK and the EU, the two sides agreed to continue high-level exchanges and strategic communication with each other under the new EU leadership.
3. The ROK and the EU recognized that the ROK-EU FTA has expanded and deepened their economic and trade relations. They reviewed the progress and achievements made in various areas, including industrial cooperation between SMEs and clusters, information and communications technology (ICT), science and technology, transportation, and culture. They also exchanged views on ways to step up cooperation between respective regional strategies, namely, the ROK’s New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy and the EU-Asia Connectivity strategy.
° The two sides shared their respective state of play of preparations for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, or Brexit, which is scheduled for January 31. The ROK requested the EU to continue to share relevant information and hold prior consultations to avoid legal gaps in international agreements to which the EU and the UK are parties.
° The ROK stressed the need to accelerate the EU’s Adequacy assessment, following the recent amendment of the Protection of Personal Information Act. An EU Adequacy Decision as a result of the assessment will mean that the EU regards the ROK’s level of data protection as comparable to that of its own, and that personal data can flow from the EU to the ROK without further safeguards being necessary.
° With regard to the implementation of Chapter 13 on Trade and Sustainable Development of the ROK-EU FTA, the ROK informed the EU of the progress towards the ratification of the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The EU took note of the ROK’s efforts.
4. The ROK and the EU shared their respective policies to respond to climate change which is a current issue in the international community. They confirmed the need for coordination in international fora, including the G20 and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and agreed to work closely together on multilateral issues such as trade, environment, development and human rights.
° The ROK reminded the EU that the Second Partnering
for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit will be held in Seoul
on June 29 and 30 this year, emphasizing the ROK’s commitment and efforts to
contribute to the international community’s solidarity to tackle climate