The EU and the Republic of Korea held the second Digital partnership Council in Brussels. The Council was co-chaired by Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, and by Korean Minister for Science and Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Lee Jong-Ho.


During the ministerial meeting, the EU and Korea reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in key digital technologies for the benefit of citizens and economies. They took stock of the progress achieved since the first digital partnership council and agreed on a list of key areas to further cooperate. The EU and Korea agreed to continue the cooperation on semiconductors, 5G and beyond, quantum technology, platforms, artificial intelligence (AI), as well as cybersecurity, and defined other areas of cooperation such as network connectivity.


To facilitate the implementation of these joint projects, the Commission and the Republic of Korea yesterday concluded the negotiations for associating the country to Horizon Europe, the EU's funding programme for research and innovation.


Key outcomes of the second digital partnership council

The EU and the Republic of Korea have decided to collaborate on research and innovation initiatives in the field of semiconductors. The projects will be selected in June 2024 and are expected to start by the end of the year. The partners also launched a Joint EU-Republic of Korea Semiconductors Researchers Forum which will connect researchers. They also stressed the importance of exchanging information on the semiconductors supply chain.


In the area of 5G and 6G, the EU and the Republic of Korea have launched a call for proposals on research topics in the fields of Radio Access Networks (RAN) and 6G technology. The projects are expected to start at the end of 2024.


Following the launch of the Quantum expert group during the first digital partnership council, both sides have also identified common research topics that could be the basis of joint research cooperation.


Both partners share the same vision for a fair and secure online environment and will continue implementing the principles of the Declaration for the Future of Internet in line with the European Declaration on digital rights and principles.


Both partners also recognised the importance of the communication channel on AI established in 2023 to define common approaches and ensure trustworthiness and innovation, including on generative AI. Both sides will continue exchanging information, in view of the AI Safety Summit planned for May 2024 and the AI Global Forum hosted by the Republic of Korea.


In today's fast-moving and uncertain world, the EU and the Republic of Korea took steps to share information on cybersecurity trends, best practices on SMEs digitalisation and to cooperate on ICT standardisation in international fora to promote their common vision.


Finally, the European Commission highlighted the importance of cooperation on connectivity. This includes undersea cable connectivity projects through the Arctic to provide trusted data flows as well as cooperation on secure and resilient connectivity in third countries.


Next Steps

The next Digital partnership Council is planned for the first half of 2025 in Seoul to review progress and make further steps to deepen the EU-Republic of Korea digital partnership.



The EU-ROK Digital partnership was announced jointly by President von der Leyen and President Yoon on 28 November 2022. The first Digital partnership Council took place in Seoul on 23 June 2023.


The EU-Korea partnership is part of the EU strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific that aims to strengthen the EU's partnerships in Asia. In May 2022, the first digital partnership was concluded with Japan during the 28th EU-Japan Summit. The EU-Singapore Digital Partnership was signed on 1 February 2023. 


Source & Image Credit: EU Commission


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Connectivity, Cybersecurity, Advanced Digital Technologies, Electronics, 5G/6G, Advanced and Cloud Computing, International relations Quantum, Online platforms, e-commerce, Artificial intelligence, EU, Republic of Korea, digital partnership EU and Republic of Korea strengthen digital partnership, focusing on key technologies like semiconductors, 5G, AI, and cybersecurity.