Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1963, the ROK and the EU have steadily developed relations based on democracy and the rule of law. In October 2010, bilateral relations were further upgraded to a strategic partnership based on the revised Framework Agreement and the ROK-EU FTA. Furthermore, the ROK and the EU agreed to their "Future-oriented Partnership" on the occasion of 50th anniversary of diplomatic establishment in November 2013.
The EU continues to further cement and enhance its status as a global player since the Lisbon Treaty. The ROK aims to further strengthen cooperation with the EU on bilateral, regional and global issues, based upon shared universal values such as democracy, free trade, human rights and the rule of law.
The ROK concluded a key agreement with EU, the Framework Agreement for the participation in EU Crisis Management Operations. Upon its entry into force of in 2016, the Cheonghae Unit has been participating in EU’s counter-piracy operation (Atalanta), contributing to significantly further expanding the ROK-EU cooperation on the global challenges such as counter-piracy.
The ROK and the EU are important trading partners. In 2019, the volume of bilateral trade between the two sides was up to 108.6 billion US dollars. In 2019, the EU was the largest foreign investor to the ROK in terms of cumulative total since 1962. The EU investment in the ROK stands at US$ 122.8 billion.
The main EU exports to the ROK are automobiles, equipment for semiconductor, medicine etc. The main imports from the ROK to the EU are ships, automobiles, automobile parts, mobile phones etc.
Bilateral Agreements : The Framework Agreement on Trade and Cooperation between the ROK and EU entered into force on 1 April 2001. In 2007, the Council of the EU called for an updating of this Agreement as part of a wider strengthening of bilateral relations. The Framework Agreement (FA) was signed on 10 May 2010 and entered into force in June 2014. The negotiations for the ROK-EU Free Trade Agreement(FTA) started in April 2007 and took 8 rounds of negotiation until the agreement was signed on 6 October 2010. The FTA entered into force on 13 December 2015. In May 2014, the ROK and EU signed the Agreement establishing a framework for the participation of ROK in EU crisis management operations on 23 May 2014 and entered into force on 1 December 2016.