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The 2nd ROK-EU Digital Partnership Council Sets Stage for Substantial Digital Cooperation


The 2nd ROK-EU Digital Partnership Council Sets Stage for Substantial Digital Cooperation

- The Council discussed cooperation measures in digital sectors including semiconductors, 5G/6G, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, standardization, digital rights, etc.
- Key outcomes included collaborative research initiatives in semiconductors and 5G/6G

The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT, Minister Lee Jong-Ho) announced the successful convening of the second ROK-EU Digital Partnership Council, held on March 26 at Le Berlaymont, the headquarters of the European Commission, in Brussels, Belgium.

The ROK-EU Digital Partnership Council (hereinafter referred to as 'the Council') is a ministerial-level consultative body launched with the Minister of MSIT and the EU Commissioner for Internal Market serving as the chief delegates to ensure the practical implementation of the 'ROK-EU Digital Partnership' signed in November 2022. The Council, which is held annually, convened its second meeting in Brussels following the first meeting in Seoul in May last year as a follow-up to the ROK-EU Summit.
* Key areas of cooperation under the ROK-EU Digital Partnership include: Collaborative Research, Semiconductors, High Performance Computing (HPC) & Quantum Technologies, Cybersecurity & Trust, Beyond 5G/6G, Skills - Mobility - Digital inclusion, Artificial Intelligence, Online & Digital Platform Cooperation, Data related Laws and Systems, Digital Identity & Trust Services, and Digital Trade.

Through the 2nd Council meeting, both sides reaffirmed the ROK-EU Digital Partnership's central role in advancing digital cooperation that benefits both economies. Additionally, the Council reviewed progress made since the first Council meeting on key cooperation areas such as semiconductors, 5G/6G, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and online & digital platforms, and discussed future collaboration strategies on digital rights and international standardization.

In Semiconductors, Korea and the EU agreed to initiate a collaborative research project valued at 12 million euros (approximately 16.8 billion won, with each side contributing 8.4 billion won) over three years, focusing on neuromorphic computing and heterogeneous integration technologies. The project is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2024 following a joint selection process. Concurrently, the '1st Korea-EU Joint Researcher Forum on Semiconductors' took place in Brussels from March 25 to 26. The forum aimed to facilitate researcher matchmaking for the collaborative research project and bolster networking between Korean and EU researchers, thereby enhancing technology exchange and cooperation between the two parties.

In Beyond 5G/6G, both parties agreed to undertake collaborative research to enhance wireless transmission using AI and to automate and optimize wireless networks over three years, with a total budget of 5 million euros (approximately 7.3 billion won, with Korea contributing 3 billion won and the EU contributing 3 million euros or approximately 4.3 billion won). The project is slated to begin by the end of 2024, and both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in standardization forums based on a shared vision for 6G.

In Quantum Technologies, both parties confirmed that significant progress has been made in identifying collaborative research topics such as quantum simulators and quantum communication since the initiation of the ROK-EU Quantum Technology Expert Working Group in June last year. In addition, the Korea-Europe Quantum Science Technology Cooperation Center, newly established in Brussels, has significantly contributed to cooperation in quantum technologies by co-hosting expert workshops and establishing inter-institution networks. Both sides agreed to explore quantum R&D cooperation opportunities in the future and to enhance quantum technology cooperation by participating in quantum networking events hosted by both sides, such as Quantum Korea 2024, scheduled for June in Korea.

In Artificial Intelligence, both parties recognized the importance of establishing communication channels between Korea and the EU to develop a joint policy approach, considering the international commitments and legal frameworks of both parties, to ensure the reliability and innovation of AI technologies. Discussions will continue, especially regarding the upcoming AI Safety Summit and the Global AI Forum hosted by Korea, to establish global AI governance.

In Cybersecurity, both parties agreed to enhance exchanges and cooperation in areas such as sharing information on key cyber trends, conducting cybersecurity research and capability building, and to push forward the “Cyber Dialogue”, a regular working-level exchange channel between Korea and the EU. In Digital Platform, both sides agreed to deepen exchanges on each other's platform economy-related systems and other initiatives.

Furthermore, Korea and the EU agreed to cooperate on their positions in international ICT standardization bodies such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Notably, Minister Lee Jong-Ho shared Korea's "Digital Bill of Rights," which outlines five basic principles of freedom, fairness, safety, innovation, solidarity to forge a "Digital Society of Co-Prosperity" as a model of an ideal future for the international community. In line with this, he requested the EU's active participation in discussions at the OECD and other international forums.

Minister Lee said, "It is meaningful that the ROK-EU Digital Partnership Council has led to the creation of various forms of digital cooperation between the two parties, including collaborative research in semiconductors and 5G/6G, as well as the facilitation of researcher forums and expert workshops. With the successful conclusion of negotiations for Korea's association to Horizon Europe, we are embarking on a new phase of progressive cooperation between Korea and the EU, further accelerating our digital cooperation."

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division (Phone: +82-44-202-4034, E-mail: of the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Please refer to the attached PDF.

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