On the sidelines of the G7 Summit in the United Kingdom, President Moon Jae-in held talks with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen this afternoon. They extensively discussed bilateral trade issues and cooperation on climate change responses and the environment as well as ways to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EU leaders began by giving high marks to Korea’s exemplary response to COVID-19. They congratulated President Moon on the success of the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit and said that they were impressed by the P4G keepsakes made from recyclables in support of a circular economy.
President Moon replied, “I am grateful for the European Union’s participation in the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit. The EU is a strategic partner having promoted common interests in a variety of areas while sharing the universal values of humanity.” In particular, President Moon said, “The EU is leading the post-COVID-19 era through the European Green Deal and the 2030 Digital Targets, and Korea is also moving toward the same goals by pushing the Green and Digital New Deals.”
The EU leaders noted that the healthcare-related discussion at the G7 Summit’s first expanded session held just before the Korea-EU summit had been productive.
President Moon said, “It is now important to expand vaccinations as we move beyond epidemic prevention and control, and it is necessary to increase vaccine supplies to developing countries in a smooth and equitable manner. To this end, we should expand vaccine production bases by combining Europe’s advanced vaccine development capabilities and Korea’s excellent production abilities. Korea will faithfully fulfill its role as a global vaccine hub, contributing to strengthening global health governance.”
President Moon said, “The European Union has excellent capabilities regarding the low-carbon economy and renewable energy, and Korea has strengths in hydrogen-powered cars, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, batteries and the hydrogen economy. Given this, Korea and the European Union can create synergy.” He proposed closer cooperation going forward.
Meanwhile, President Moon extended an invitation for the European Council and European Commission presidents to visit Korea at a suitable time in the second half of this year. The EU leaders accepted the invitation and expressed their gratitude.