SPIRe Seminar Week 8: ‘EU Trade Policy in Northeast Asia’

SPIRe’s week eight seminar will feature SPIRe PhD Student David Hallinan, this Thursady (Nov. 14th), 1-2pm in G317 speaking on  ‘EU Trade Policy in Northeast Asia’


This paper consists of an in-depth case study of the pursuit and implementation of EUKOR, the EU-South Korean FTA.1 EUKOR is the first FTA implemented by the EU since the launching of the Global Europe strategy in 2006.2 It is also the first agreement to be implemented under the new Lisbon-treaty rules, entailing co-ratification by the EP. The EU has actively pursued and successfully achieved fully open market access with the Republic of Korea (ROK). However, the ROK is a major producer of automotives, textiles, electrical goods, machinery, and other high-technology products. The prospect of a full FTA between the ROK and the EU presented head-to-head competition for European producers in these key sectors, resulting in vocal opposition from sectoral interest groups concerned about increased import-competition and the overall effects of the agreement on European production and employment. The onset of the crisis in the Eurozone begs the question of how the EC managed to deliver on its stated commitment to trade liberalization vis-à-vis the ROK, despite direct competition in key sectors and societal opposition to the agreement. This paper will seek to explain the key actors which drove the pursuit and implementation of EUKOR, examining the roles and motivations of the EC, the European Parliament, trans-European interests groups and their lobbies, and particular EU member states (MSs).

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