The free trade agreement concluded by Korea and the EU is likely to take effect in October or November.
A senior government official on Wednesday said the EU has told Korea it will finish reviewing the text of the FTA in 22 EU languages by next month. Once that is done, the two sides will be able to sign the agreement in September and the FTA will likely take effect a month or two later.
The FTA was concluded in July last year and was initialed in October. If the agreement is to win official endorsement from the EU member states, the 1,000-odd page text has to be translated into all EU languages for cross-checking.
When the EU countries finish cross-checking the text next month, Korea will seek approval for the FTA bill from the Cabinet and the president, and the EU will seek endorsement from the EU Council. Then the two sides can officially sign it in September. Once it is signed, the two sides will have their parliament ratify it.
"The European Parliament appears to be generally in favor of the FTA, and the EU also expects it to come into effect in October or November," the official said.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the chief Korean FTA negotiator Choi Seok-young will meet with his EU counterpart Ignacio Garcia Bercero in Brussels on July 15 and 16 to discuss the signing process.