S-Space College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원) The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) 법학 법학 Volume 53, Number 1/4 (2012)
The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement as the First Global Europe FTA to Herald a New Era of World Trade?
- Suh, Chun-Kyung Paulus
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 법학연구소
- 법학, Vol.53 No.3, pp. 693-712
- EU-Korea FTA; regional trade agreement; EU global europe strategy; WTO-plus provisions; mixed agreements
- The first draft of this article was presented at the 1st Joint Symposium between
Seoul National University and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (University of
Munich) on Current Developments in International Economic Law held in Seoul,
Korea from September 21 to 22, 2011. I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter
Folz and Dr. Philipp M. Reuβ for valuable comments on an earlier version of this
paper which has been presented at the 2nd German-Korean Conference at Wildbad
Kreuth, Germany 2011; publication details thereof unknown at the time of publication
of this article.
- The Global Europe Initiative was the declaration of the European Commission to focus on the competitiveness of the EU in external trade, securing real market access. The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the first to be concluded
under this new initiative. So far, the EU has concluded Regional Trade Agreements
which were accession-oriented or had a particular focus on development issues.
As the EU-Korea FTA is the most comprehensive free trade agreement that the
EU ever negotiated, it is also a new generation FTA. Not only does it include
provisions in terms of eliminating tariffs for goods and services, but the EU-Korea
FTA also includes provisions on difficult areas such as investments in services
and industrial sectors, as well as on protection of intellectual property, public
procurement, competition rules, transparency of regulation and sustainable development. It is significant that in most areas the FTA builds on existing multilateral agreements and declarations within the framework of the WTO Legal System. WTO compliance is an important issue throughout the EU-Korea FTA. The
analysis on selected chapters of the Agreement will show that the provisions are
built on existing WTO instruments and go substantively beyond them. In the concluding part, the question will be raised if the FTA at hand is compatible with the WTO system and if it is to herald a new era in world trade, shifting from multilateral agreements to a network of bilateral agreements.