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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
News article19 October 2018Service for Foreign Policy Instruments

Strategic Partnership for Common Challenges: The EU enhances its dialogue with the Republic of Korea

To underpin the EU-Republic of Korea (RoK) Strategic Partnership, the EU Partnership Instrument translates political commitments into concrete projects ranging from joint climate action and cultural exchanges to economic cooperation.

The EU and the Republic of Korea Join Hands to Fight Climate Change

Support to the Paris Agreement by the EU and the RoK reflects a strong common interest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a more resource efficient and greener economic path.

To honour their commitments under the Agreement, the EU and the RoK make use of the strong potential of non-state actors on the ground to cut carbon emissions. The bilingual digital EU-Korea Climate Action Platform will open a space for civil society, city representatives, businesses and academia to exchange best practices and to strengthen the partnership on climate action between the EU and South Korea. In addition, seminars and workshops will be held and technical assistance provided to complement the exchanges and support the partnerships created under this digital platform, among other, with regard to energy-efficient buildings and low carbon mobility.

One effective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions is to set up an Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Republic of Korea is the first country in Asia to launch a nation-wide ETS and, as such, is at the forefront of reducing emissions. Building on the success of the EU ETS, an EU-funded project supports the implementation of the Korean Emissions Trading System (KETS). With the support of the EU’s Partnership Instrument, public and private sector representatives receive assistance on technical and strategic aspects of the implementation as well as on compliance and new mitigation technologies. Jointly steered by the EU and the South Korean Ministry of Environment, the project aims to unlock the potential of the ETS to transform the RoK into a low carbon economy.

Arts, Culture and Political Dialogue for a People-centred EU-Korea Strategic Partnership

There are also many opportunities for dialogue between Europeans and South Koreans on a wide range of issues, including exchanges between young European and Korean cultural practitioners under the Cultural Diplomacy Platform as well as cooperation with Korean institutions and organisations in various sectors through public diplomacy outreach activities. In addition, through teaching, research and debate funded by the Erasmus+ programme, academics, students and decision-makers from both parties discuss key issues related to European integration, thus increasing understanding and visibility of the European Union in the Republic of Korea. Media representatives, think tanks and decision-makers, both from the EU and the RoK, discuss policies of common interest in workshops and seminars.

Fulfilling the potential of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Building on thriving bilateral trade and economic relations, the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has opened up new trading opportunities for European and Korean businesses since it was put in place 7 years ago. The Partnership Instrument-funded EU Gateway project enhances economic cooperation, enables the building of networks between European and Korean companies and provides opportunities for European companies to increase their market access through sector-specific business missions. This includes the upcoming business mission focused on Organic Food and Beverage on 27-28 November 2018 in Seoul. The project supports European and Korean companies to reap the benefits of the FTA and works to make sure that trade relations between the EU and South Korea are mutually beneficial.


The EU Partnership Instrument funds projects that enable the EU to advance its strategic interests, shape global change and promote fundamental values. Through the Partnership Instrument, the EU cooperates with partners around the world to address global challenges and find joint solutions to issues of mutual interest.

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Publication date
19 October 2018
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments