Tuesday

24th Oct 2017

EU to open markets to South Korea in July 2011

EU member states have clinched a compromise on the provisional application of a free trade agreement with South Korea, giving Italy an additional six months to prepare its auto industry for the opening-up of the EU market.

"It is a very big step in opening markets in Asia for our companies and this will create prosperity and jobs, of course in Korea, but also in Europe," Belgian foreign minister Steven Vanackere said on Thursday (16 September) during a press conference in Brussels.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EU foreign ministers agreed that the deal should enter into force on 1 July 2011, provided that the European Parliament gives its consent to the package, which includes a safeguard clause on protecting vulnerable European companies.

The deal, described by Mr Vanackere as the "first new generation style agreement" and "the most ambitious [EU trade] agreement ever," is to be signed during an EU-South Korea summit in Brussels on 6 October.

The Belgian diplomat added that the Korean side would have preferred an earlier date for entry into force and described the July 2011 outcome as a result of "intense negotiations" between member states.

Italy had in recent days threatened to veto the deal if it stuck its original terms of entry into force at the beginning of next year.

Under the agreement, both sides will have to eliminate 98.7 percent of duties in the industrial and agricultural within the next five years. Implementation of the deal will be overseen by a trade committee, which will report to a joint EU-Korean body.

The member states have to find a compromise with the European Parliament on a special bilateral safeguard clause before the EU-Korea summit.

The parliament, which in a new development under the Lisbon Treaty holds the role of co-legislator on trade pacts, at its September session in Strasbourg postponed its vote on the pact due to disagreement with member states.

Outstanding issues cover a so-called regional clause demanded by MEPs, enabling special protection for European firms in regions with high unemployment, for example, and the parliament's right to initiate an investigation into negative fallout from the trade deal.

Mr Vanackere said on Thursday that negotiations with the parliament should take place before the end of the month.

Macron puts trade policy on summit table

France's president wants a "political discussion" on EU trade policies at Thursday's summit, amid domestic concerns over Canada and South America deals. But his colleagues are likely to avoid a lengthy debate.

Analysis

Juncker's euro-push could risk unity, warns eastern flank

The EU Commission chief hopes that as Emmanuel Macron pushes for euro area countries to integrate further creating a multi-speed Europe, central European members will be more inclined to join the single currency. Are they?

News in Brief

  1. Tusk: It's up to London to have a good Brexit deal
  2. Bettel wants more ministerial meetings on digital
  3. Austria's Kurz to open coalition talks with far-right
  4. Estonia: Finalising digital market before 2019 'do-able'
  5. Don't let City of London 'drift away', Luxembourg warns
  6. Far-right enters German parliament officially
  7. Orban declares migrant-free zone in Eastern Europe
  8. Madrid set to use force to stop Catalonia independence

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. A Soul for EuropeWho Assumes Responsibility for Europe?' Conference on 10-11 November in Berlin.
  2. Martens CentreI Say Europe, You Say...? Interview With EU Commission VP Jyrki Katainen
  3. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  4. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  5. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  6. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  7. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  8. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  10. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  11. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  12. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!