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Brussels, 28 March 2012

Republic of Korea-EU Summit - Joint Press Statement

The Sixth Summit between the Republic of Korea and the European Union (EU) took place in Seoul on 28 March 2012. The Republic of Korea was represented by President Lee Myung-bak and the EU was represented by Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

Bilateral relations

The Korean and EU leaders held a friendly, productive and successful Summit. They expressed their satisfaction with the positive development of the Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Korea and the EU founded on a bedrock of shared values and on the landmark Framework Agreement and Free-Trade Agreement which were signed in 2010. They noted the importance of their regular summit meetings as a primordial mechanism to further strengthen the Strategic Partnership. The leaders expressed their wish to further strengthen Korea-EU cooperation on bilateral, global and regional issues, and affirmed their conviction that such cooperation would be mutually beneficial. In addition, they noted with satisfaction the upcoming 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the EU in 2013.

The leaders welcomed the expansion of bilateral trade after the provisional application of the Korea-EU Free Trade Agreement on 1 July 2011. They shared the understanding that the full implementation of the Korea-EU FTA is essential to further facilitate bilateral economic cooperation and to promote benefits of the FTA for both enterprises and consumers.

The leaders also affirmed that the High Level Political dialogue will be held on an annual basis and from this year, bilateral consultations will be held to strengthen cooperation in the areas of human rights. Concerning international development, the leaders agreed to conduct regular policy dialogue and to exchange information on their respective programmes and, where appropriate, to coordinate their engagement in-country to increase their impact on poverty eradication. The leaders also agreed to work together to strengthen global accountability on aid and development effectiveness through Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

The leaders stressed the value of joint initiatives and exchanges of personnel and students in the fields of education, science, research and innovation for laying a solid foundation of practical cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the EU.

In this respect, it is agreed that the Republic of Korea and the EU will try to reinforce the existing cooperation within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus programme, bilateral education cooperation and joint initiatives under the EU and corresponding Korean research and innovation programmes in particular in the areas of mobility of researchers, green energy, nano-technology, basic technology, industrial technology and Information Communication Technologies.

The leaders also agreed that the Joint Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation will be further activated and, if necessary, the composition of a Task Force at working level will be examined to further facilitate the follow up of joint activities.

They took note of the first meeting of the ROK-EU Leaders Forum held in November 2011 for further promoting bilateral relations.

Regional issues

The leaders shared their grave concern over North Korea’s announcement made on 16 March 2012 that it plans to carry out a “satellite” launch, emphasizing that the launch would be a clear violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and contrary to its recent commitments. The leaders together called on North Korea to refrain from the announced launch. They continue to urge North Korea to comply with its international obligations, in particular by abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in accordance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The leaders also expressed their concern over the gravity of the North Korean human rights situation and urged North Korea to display genuine efforts to improve the human rights of its people.

The leaders stressed that sustainable peace and development in Afghanistan is essential for the stability in Asia and beyond. They called on the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to meet their respective commitments to support successful transition in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and promote long-term stability and security in the region thereafter.

The leaders expressed their deepening concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme including their serious concerns on possible military dimensions, as reported by the IAEA.They urged Iran to faithfully fulfill its international obligations including all United Nations Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors Resolutions. They expressed support for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations and welcomed efforts by the EU High Representative, on behalf of the E3+3, in this regard.

The leaders expressed deep concern over the massive civilian casualties caused by the Syrian regime's indiscriminate use of violence and strongly condemned the continued and systematic human right violations perpetrated by the regime against its own people. They called upon the regime to immediately put an end to all violence and human right violations and urged it to meet the aspirations of the citizens of Syria for democracy and a better future for the country. The leaders also agreed to coordinate on possible further steps, to this end. They called on all members of the UN Security Council to live up to their responsibilities in an effort to stop the violence.

The leaders agreed to actively explore possibilities for closer cooperation in efforts to counter Somalia-based piracy and to continue cooperation on increasing the anti-piracy capacity of the countries in the region. They noted the need for a comprehensive approach, on land as well as at sea, for dealing with this problem.

Global issues

The leaders warmly welcomed the successful outcome of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, which will contribute to strengthening global security through intensified international cooperation to counter nuclear and radiological terrorism. They also agreed to actively implement their commitments contained in the 'Seoul Communiqué'.

Noting a modest recovery of the global economy and an easing of global financial market stress, the leaders welcomed the valued progress the EU has made together with its Member States in recent months by adopting various measures to strengthen their fiscal positions, to reduce financial stress, to build stronger institutions, and to implement growth-enhancing structural reforms. The leaders also welcomed the sound economic situation of Korea and the positive role that the country plays in fostering regional economic cooperation in East Asia.

The leaders reaffirmed the important role of the G20 in addressing challenges to the global economy and achieving the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced global growth. They agreed to work closely to bring concrete results at the coming Los Cabos G20 Summit concerning the strengthening of the global economy, maintaining financial stability, enhancing food security, improving the international financial architecture, and promoting green growth and sustainable development.

In order to enhance the credibility of the G20, the leaders recognised the importance of the full implementation of the commitments agreed in the previous G20 Summits including the Seoul and Cannes Summit, particularly in the avoidance of trade protectionism, in ensuring that the IMF continues to have sufficient resources to play its systemic role, the reform of the quota and governance of the IMF, and the Seoul Development Consensus and its Multi-Year Action Plan, and agreed to work closely to further strengthen monitoring and accountability in the G20 process.

Reaffirming the need to limit the increase in average global temperatures to 2° C above pre-industrial levels, the leaders agreed that the work programme of the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action should be finalized as soon as possible, in order to achieve by 2015 a protocol, legal instrument or agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all parties. The leaders also noted the special role that Korea will play as pre-COP 18 host and confirmed their support for the increased level of ambition in reducing greenhouse gas emissions domestically and globally. Noting the importance of Green Growth Policy in reducing green house gas emissions, the leaders agreed to make joint efforts to spread green growth through the G20 and Rio+20 Summits. It was agreed to continue the dialogue on policies for green growth and jobs.

The leaders underlined the importance of international trade to global economic recovery and reaffirmed their strong opposition to protectionism. They reiterated their commitment toward completing the WTO Doha Development Round of negotiations and urged WTO members to pragmatically advance the negotiations in 2012 in line with the outcomes of the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference. The leaders underlined the need to give priority to addressing issues of concerns for Least Developed Countries in the negotiations and to advance on other areas with a substantial development component and universal benefit, such as Trade Facilitation and non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

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