Source: European Union
The Republic of Korea-EU leaders’ video conference brought together the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the Republic of Korea, Jae-in Moon.
EU and Republic of Korea leaders discussed how to foster global cooperation in the post-Covid recovery phase and reaffirmed their commitment to overcoming this challenge by working together including in the G20 and the United Nations system.
Today’s Republic of Korea- EU leaders’ meeting put a spotlight on the common values that underpin our relationship. Our Strategic Partnership is 10-years strong and getting stronger to overcome COVID-19.
Remarks by President Michel at the end of the meeting
With the opportunity of the 10th anniversary of the EU-Republic of Korea strategic partnership, leaders explored further areas of cooperation and looked forward to holding a Summit Meeting in Seoul in the near future when conditions will allow. President Michel indicated that the EU wants to become a stronger player in Asia.
The leaders issued a joint press release:
The leaders shared their respective experience in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also stressed the importance of:
- strengthened response capacities and enhanced information sharing through the coordination between the respective health authorities and centers for disease control
- mutual support to ensure access to medical products as well as cooperation in research and development of vaccines and medicines, They called for the future COVID-19 vaccine to become a global common good
- improvement of the international response including through relevant international organisations while reaffirming the role of the WHO in coordinating the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
- assistance towards developing countries, including in Africa and other vulnerable regions, in facing the impact of the crisis and strengthening their healthcare systems
The leaders committed to restoring robust economic growth and build more resilient, sustainable and inclusive economies and societies also through green transition and digital transformation.
Trade and economy
Both sides acknowledged their commitment to further enhance the implementation of the EU-Republic of Korea free trade agreement,the urgent need to further reduce non-tariff barriers and to improve access for agri-food products to each other’s markets.
EU leaders encouraged the Republic of Korea to make continued efforts to take relevant measures on labour issues, including the ratification of the fundamental International Labour Organization Conventions.
They expressed their joint to support the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) at its core, both sides fully engaged behind the reform of the institution. They agreed on the importance of exploring a possible initiative by WTO members to facilitate trade in medical supplies so as to reinforce global preparedness for health emergencies.
ln discussing trade, leaders reiterated their goal to keep markets and the trading system open. Emergency measures aimed at protecting health should be targeted, proportionate, transparent and temporary in order to avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.
In addition both sides discussed matters relating to innovation and cooperation in the digital technologies sector, including ethical implementation of artificial intelligence and secure cross border data flows.
The leaders agreed to strengthen joint efforts to promote connectivity based on the principles of sustainability, openness, inclusiveness and transparency, respecting a level playing field. They welcomed the recent signature of the EU-Republic of Korea horizontal aviation agreement
The EU and the Republic of Korea underlined the urgency of stepping-up the global response to fight against climate change, including their commitment to implement the Paris Agreement and the Partnering for Green Growth and Global Goals 2030 Summit foreseen to be held in Korea in 2021.
Leaders also discussed the geopolitical situation in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They agreed to intensify practical cooperation to in areas such as cybersecurity and countering disinformation and other hybrid threats.
Both sides supported the UN Secretary-General’s call for an immediate global ceasefire to address the potential impact of the spread of the virus in conflict areas.
Leaders addressed other pressing regional and international issues, such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and in Hong Kong, the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) and the conflict in eastern Ukraine.