Asia Europe Journal 17, 327–340 (2019)
This paper explores the evolution of the policy agenda of the EU-South Korea strategic partnership, based on key pillars of cooperation: politics, security, and economics. In the political arena, the Framework Agreement has provided a major platform for promoting EU-Korea political dialogue and developing a common stance toward a shared global agenda. When it comes to security, the main agenda involves North Korea’s missiles, nuclear program, and the challenge of nonproliferation; the two parties have coordinated sanctions against North Korea. South Korea has enacted a Crisis Management Participation Agreement (FPA) with the EU and begun to participate in the EU common security and defence policy. The changing security environment on the Korean Peninsula, as a consequence of recent inter-Korean and US-North Korea dialogues, may offer the EU new opportunities for constructive engagement. In the economic arena, the EU-Korea FTA has established solid trade and investment relations. While these pillars of the strategic partnership have led to stable and mature bilateral relations, both the EU and South Korea need to find new momentum for an enhanced partnership to deal with the ongoing challenge of global security instability and the backlash against the liberal international order. The EU-South Korea strategic partnership also needs a global agenda that covers climate change, technology, education, and culture. This study assesses the development of each pillar of the strategic partnership, addressing key challenges, tasks, and future diplomatic developments between the EU and South Korea.