EU-Republic of Korea Summit – Joint Press Statement

The Fifth Summit between the European Union and the Republic of Korea took place in Brussels on 6 October 2010. The European Union (EU) was represented by Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. The Republic of Korea (RoK) was represented by President Lee Myung-bak.

The EU and Korean leaders held a friendly, productive and successful Summit. They expressed their satisfaction with the positive development of the overall relationship, which is based on shared values and common global interests. They warmly welcomed the signature of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement immediately prior to the meeting as well as the signature of a new Framework Agreement in May. They heralded these important steps forward in EU-Korea relations, noting that the FTA will bring major benefits to economic operators and to consumers, as well as sending a strong message that trade liberalisation is a key element for the recovery of the world economy. As regards the Framework Agreement, they noted that this will provide a basis for strengthened EUKorea cooperation on key global challenges such as climate change and development assistance. In line with discussions at the fourth Republic of Korea-EU Summit on 23 May 2009, leaders agreed to upgrade relations to a strategic partnership.

Leaders stressed the importance of G20 actions in securing the global economic recovery, strengthening financial regulation and supervision and laying the foundation for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, as well as the present role played by Korea as host of the upcoming G20 in November 2010. They confirmed their readiness to do their part to achieve the shared objectives set out in the G20 Framework for Growth. They also agreed on the importance of trade for economic recovery, and the need to ensure an urgent conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Agenda. Leaders stressed the need for political leadership in reaching an ambitious, balanced and comprehensive outcome, based on the progress already made.

Leaders stressed that both the EU and the Republic of Korea will keep pursuing a high level of ambition to tackle climate change challenges by striving for a reduction of green house gas emissions commensurate with their level of economic development and pursue low carbon green growth and become low carbon economies. They agreed that adaptation to and mitigation of climate change remains a key global challenge, and will require supportive energy policies. Leaders stressed the importance of market based mechanisms to achieve emission reductions and noted that the EU’s experiences with emissions trading scheme is a useful example in this respect. Cooperation should focus on financing mechanisms as well as on support to green growth and clean development in third countries. Integrating the agreements contained in the Copenhagen Accord into the UNFCCC negotiating texts will be critical to advance the negotiation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the end of 2010.

The leaders reaffirmed the importance of strengthening the multilateral Treaty system on non-proliferation and disarmament. They welcomed the successful outcome of the 2010 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The EU and the ROK expressed their deep concern over the Iranian nuclear programme and underlined the need for all countries to fully implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929 with a view to finding a negotiated solution. The two sides will work together to ensure success of the Nuclear Security Summit which the RoK will host in 2012.

Leaders discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Both the EU and the RoK acknowledge the Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton of 20 May, and align themselves with the unanimous UNSC Presidential Statement of 9 July condemning the attack which led to the sinking of the ‘Cheonan’ and underscoring the importance of preventing further such attacks or hostilities against the RoK or in the region. The leaders consider the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and missile programmes a serious threat to regional and global peace and security, and continue to urge the DPRK to comply with its international obligations in particular, by abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They reiterated support for the Six-Party Talks as a viable framework for the peaceful and comprehensive resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and underlined the importance of the full implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Leaders called for constructive and sincere inter-Korean dialogue as an essential element in building peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The RoK and the EU also welcomed the outcome of the ASEM 8 Summit and recognised the importance of the ASEM process.

Council of the European Union

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