EU-Korea Domestic Advisory Group under the Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
The EU-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in July 2011 as the first FTA concluded by the EU which includes a trade and sustainable development chapter, i.e. the Parties’ commitments in the area of labour and environment-related matters being of importance for their trade relations. For example, the Parties will make continued and sustained efforts to ratify the remaining International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental conventions and will effectively implement those conventions already ratified by Korea and the EU Member States respectively.
Similarly, the Parties will effectively implement, in their laws and practice multilateral environmental agreements, to which they are party.
EU and Korea have also committed not to lower the standards in order to attract trade or investment and have expressed the will to cooperate in areas related to sustainable development. This includes facilitation of trade in environmental goods and services, promotion of sustainable renewable energy and energy efficient products, promotion of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and of trade in products subject to ethical or fair trade schemes. Cooperation may also include trade-related aspects of biodiversity, promotion of sustainable fishing, addressing the problem of illegal logging or co-operation on trade-related aspects of climate change policy.
The Parties also committed to monitor impacts of the Agreement.
EU Domestic Advisory Group
The Trade and Sustainable Development chapter of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) envisages that each Party shall establish a Domestic Advisory Group (DAG) on sustainable development (environment and labour) with the task of advising on the implementation of this chapter. DAG shall comprise independent representative organisations of civil society in a balanced representation of environment, labour and business organisations as well as other relevant stakeholders.
EU-Korea Civil Society Forum
The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) envisages also that DAG members of each Party will meet together at a Civil Society Forum in order to conduct a dialogue encompassing sustainable development aspects of trade relations between the Parties. The Civil Society Forum meets once a year unless otherwise agreed by the Parties, with the venue alternating between Brussels and Seoul.