The European Commission welcomes today’s decision of the Foreign Affairs Council to authorise the signature of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This is a key step towards making this deal a reality.

This agreement is the most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU. It breaks new ground in delivering market access for European companies as well as the way regulatory issues are addressed. And it will bring significant economic benefits. We expect it to double our trade with Korea in medium term and to boost jobs and growth. The FTA is our first deal with an Asian partner. It is a signal that the EU is open for business.

Today's decision has authorised the signature and provisional application of this deal. We expect to sign the agreement with our Korean partners at the EU-Korea Summit on 6 October in Brussels. The Council has also agreed that the date of provisional application shall be 1 July 2011, provided that the European Parliament has given its consent to the FTA and that the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council implementing the bilateral safeguard clause of the EU-Korea FTA is in force.


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