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EU and South Korean leaders plan increased research cooperation

Image: Etienne Ansotte, European Union 2020

Information sharing anticipated on Covid-19 and ‘safe and ethical’ artificial intelligence

Leaders from the EU and South Korea pledged their support for joint research collaboration in a meeting marking the tenth anniversary of their strategic partnership.

Korean president Moon Jae-in, European Council president Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) convened virtually on 30 June to discuss issues of mutual interest, including cooperation on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Multilateralism and solidarity are key to overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic,” Michel said on Twitter after the meeting, adding: “Any vaccine should be a global common good.”

The leaders urged greater information sharing and welcomed cooperation on coronavirus research between Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and its EU counterpart the European Medicines Agency.

They also voiced support for broader cooperation on research and technology, including through the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme, Horizon Europe.

“We also touched upon our strong collaboration in research and innovation,” said von der Leyen. “We are looking forward to further enhancing this cooperation under…Horizon Europe.”

On technology, the leaders discussed cooperation in areas including protection of personal data and privacy, “human-centric digitalisation” and “safe and ethical” artificial intelligence. They discussed the potential of launching a high-level dialogue on the digital economy.