The European Commission has requested the World Trade Organisation
(WTO) to set up formal consultations under its Dispute Settlement mechanism over the unfair Korean shipbuilding practices. This decision has been taken further to the failure to reach an amicable solution to this long-standing dispute by September 30, 2002. EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: "The lack of progress in our bilateral discussions so far has left us with no option but to take Korea to the WTO. I now call on Korea to swiftly settle this matter within the WTO consultations".
In these consultations, the European Commission will convey to Korea its view that the granting of subsidies to its shipbuilders has caused a damage to the EU shipbuilding industry and is therefore in violation of WTO Agreement on Subsidies. If these consultations fail to solve the dispute within 60 days from the request, the way ahead would be to request a WTO panel.