DKOR: Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula

The Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula focuses both on the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and its northern neighbour, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

While one is a democracy that has become a "strategic partner" for the EU, the other has grown increasingly distant from the EU, ignoring the European Union's - and the European Parliament's - calls to respect human rights and abandon its weapons programme.

These distinct evolutions have meant the delegation's work has changed significantly since it was established in 2004.

Inter-parliamentary meetings with the elected representatives from South Korea's parliament, the National Assembly, have been regular and productive.

On the other hand, inter-parliamentary meetings with the DPRK's parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, have become more infrequent. Although the European Parliament's delegation initially tried to keep the channels of communication open, political and military developments in the North - and particularly its nuclear and ballistic missile tests - have made the delegation's outreach less tenable.


The DKOR delegation counts 12 full members, as well as a number of substitute members.

MEP Karoline Edtstadler, an Austrian member of the Parliament's EPP Group, is currently the delegation's chair. Her two vice-chairs are César Luena and Judith Bunting.

The chair and vice-chairs are elected by the other members of the delegation, while the members are nominated by the Parliament's political groups. The political balance of the delegation mirrors that of the Parliament as a whole.

Work and focus

In addition to attending inter-parliamentary meetings, which are held in alternating venues in Korea and the European Parliament's places of work, the delegation regularly meets on its own in Brussels and Strasbourg.

These meetings often include guests who contribute to exchanges of views with members of the delegation. Staff from the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS), researchers from think tanks and academia, representatives of civil society and senior diplomats have all contributed to the delegation's discussions.

Topics the delegation has delved into include the security situation on the peninsula and in the region, South Korea's international relations (with Japan and China as well as the DPRK), trade (and particularly the EU-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in 2011), human rights and climate change.

In the more recent past, the DKOR delegation's regular meetings have focused on the security situation surrounding the Korean peninsula. DKOR has invited representatives of those countries that are party to the "6-Party-Talks" in order to better understand each party's position and red lines, and to see whether there is room for negotiations conducive to de-escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.