The studies collected in this volume aim to illuminate what kind of challenges the EU and member countries have been facing now, how the challenges are developing, and what kind of implications we can draw for Korea.
Chapter One is an introductory chapter, first highlighting the importance of crises in the EU’s development and then identifying the major drivers underlying the current difficulties and assessing how serious they are. Then it suggests what may be the major implications for some of the EU’s economic partners, with Korea as a case in point.
Chapter Two talks about the current status of the Brexit negotiations and its impacts on countries such as Korea. The chapter covers the progress of the Brexit negotiations, chaotic status of post-negotiation politics in the UK, possible scenarios of future developments, and the impacts of Brexit on Korea as a case study. The author argues there is a growing probability for the alternative options of “no deal Brexit” or “no Brexit,” rather than the existing withdrawal agreement, and points out the numerous areas left by Brexit that will need to be addressed in the EU-Korea FTA and new UK-Korea economic relations.
Chapter Three explores the rise of national populism in contemporary European politics, and the resulting changes in the political geography in Europe. It is very interesting to see how the author argues the current phenomena of rising populism are deep-rooted, much more than a mere response to the 2008 financial crisis, and closely related to the values divide in contemporary Europe.
The next chapter concerns itself with Franco-German relations, which have been regarded as the motor of European integration. The authors appreciate the unprecedented process of reconciliation between the two countries in the course of European integration, but highlight the fundamental difference between the two countries in fiscal, monetary and defense policies arising from different political cultures. Talking about how the changing geography has placed the two countries into a leading role over the process, they suggest the two countries need to focus on exploring new areas of cooperation ‒ agenda for future challenges in Europe such as digitalization or climate change. This chapter provides ample implications to Korea on how to make regional cooperation work under fierce rivalry and regional dynamics.
In Chapter Five, the author analyses the crisis in transatlantic relations coming into the Trump administration, and its implications for Korea. According to this chapter, the EU has responded to the protectionist approaches by the US by promoting cooperation with the US against China, staying with the US in the WTO and multilateralism, and the proposal of new trade agreements with the US and other countries. As the protectionist measures proposed by the US grow out of a prior history extending before the Trump administration, the tension is likely to last longer. The author concludes with some implications for Korea’s trade policy.
Chapter Six covers China and the EU from the perspective of trade and investment. Although the two giants have achieved excellent performances in economic relations over the past several decades, tensions from China’s aggressive investment strategy to Europe have been arising. The author argues that Brexit would lead to the UK’s approach to the US rather than China, and that Korea would benefit from the geo-economic upheaval resulting from Brexit.
In Chapter Seven, the author explores the recent history of economic relations between the EU and Korea. The author examines the impact of the EU-ROK FTA on trade relations and elaborates on the reason why the trade structure suddenly changed after the FTA. The author argues that is not only the result of tariff and non-tariff barriers elimination, but also of sluggish demand from the EU following the economic crisis in Europe, expanding value chains with third countries by Korean giant companies, and so on. The author also argues that the EU-Japan EPA, recently signed and about to enter into force in early 2019, will have a substantial impact on the EU-Korea trade relations, as Japan and Korea are competing in many industries.
Chapter Eight examines the prospects of the EU regime and its implications to Korea. The authors talk about recent challenges in the EU such as its ageing society and enlargement process, together with other issues discussed in previous sections, which may have great impacts on discussions of the future of the EU. Then, the authors introduce recent developments toward the future of the EU led by the EU institutions and other players in Europe. Finally, the authors present the implications the EU holds for Korea, and the third countries located in East Asia, making for rare observations to Europeans.