EU-Republic of Korea leaders’ videoconference: cooperation, solidarity and sustainability at the heart of a joint response to the coronavirus pandemic

This morning, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and Council President Charles Michel, together with High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, held a video conference with the President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in. The leaders issued a joint press release outlining the outcomes of the video conference. The meeting was an opportunity for the leaders to discuss the response to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in terms of socio-economic recovery, research and vaccine development and deployment, support to vulnerable populations, and lessons learnt. At the press conference following the leaders’ video conference, President von der Leyen said:  “In times of an unprecedented global health crisis, we need countries to come together, to work together, and to achieve together. It was important to exchange experiences and best practice with the Republic of Korea about the pandemic; even more so given Korea’s very innovative and successful approach to slowing it down.” The leaders also discussed ways to strengthen the EU-Republic of Korea strategic partnership, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, and benefits from a wide-reaching political framework agreement, a free trade agreement, and an agreement enabling the Republic of Korea’s participation in EU crisis management operations. Finally, the leaders discussed international and regional issues, particularly efforts to bring peace and security to the Korean Peninsula. President von der Leyen said: “The intensity and the level of our cooperation is among the highest that we have with any country in the world. Today was an important moment to reaffirm our joint commitment to working together across all areas of our partnership.” A joint press release and the full remarks of President von der Leyen at the press conference are available online, while more information on EU-Republic of Korea relations is available in a dedicated factsheet and on the website of the EU Delegation in Seoul.