29 March 2012

Back from South Korea

If I ignore the heavy cold I have these days and which was not the most pleasant thing to get for such a long trip, I had three good days in South Korea together with European Council President van Rompuy, starting with the Nuclear Security Summit on Monday and Tuesday followed by the EU-South Korea Summit yesterday. At the Nuclear Security Summit I especially reported about the stress tests for nuclear power plants in the European Union and the necessity for cross-border cooperation on these issues since radiation does not know borders. The bilateral meeting with President Lee Myung-bak was also very fruitful. We discussed the economic situation in the European Union, the mutual relationship between South Korea and the EU that has been re-enforced in 2010 through our free trade agreement as well as the implementation of the G20 Action Plan for Growth. At the sidelines we also met with other leaders, such as the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Philippine Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
In my absence, Vice President Reding chaired yesterday's Commission meeting as she usually does when I am away. So, dear Berlaymonster, I am fully aware that she took my chair! I will try to recover as much as possible from this cold today and tomorrow before I will go to Finland on Saturday where I hear we will have temperatures around 0°C, not the perfect weather in my current condition, but hopefully with good meetings.

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