OECD

Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania got green light to begin OECD accession discussions

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) may soon be welcoming six new members into its ranks.

The influential Paris-based organisation plans to start open accession talks with three Southeast European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and three Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil and Peru.

This follows careful deliberation by OECD Members on the basis of its evidence based Framework for Consideration of Prospective Members and the progress made by the six countries since their first respective requests for OECD membership.

Individual roadmaps for the detailed assessment process will now be prepared provided those countries confirm their adherence to the values, vision and priorities reflected in the OECD’s 60th Anniversary Vision Statement and the Ministerial Council Statement adopted last year.

Speaking after the decision, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann noted:

“OECD Members confirmed today that the OECD is an open, globally relevant and evolving organisation. OECD membership remains the most direct and effective way to ensure the adoption and dissemination of our shared values, principles and standards across the world”.

As responses are received from candidate countries to the letter from the Secretary-General, individual Accession Roadmaps will be considered and adopted by the OECD Council, setting out the terms, conditions and process for accession and reflecting priority areas already identified by OECD Members.

The process will include a rigorous and in-depth evaluation by more than 20 technical committees, of the candidate country’s alignment with OECD standards, policies and practices.

As a result of these technical reviews, and prior to any invitation to join the organisation as Members, changes to the candidate countries’ legislation, policy and practices will be required to bring them into line with OECD standards and best practices, thus serving as a powerful catalyst for reform.

The technical reviews will cover a wide range of policy areas and will focus on priority issues including open trade and investment, progress on public governance, integrity and anti-corruption efforts, as well as the effective protection of the environment and action on climate.

There is no deadline for completion of the accession processes. The outcome and timeline depend on each candidate country’s capacity to adapt and adjust to align with the Organisation’s standards and best practices.

Once all the technical committees have completed their reviews, a final decision will need to be taken by unanimity of all OECD Member countries in the organisation’s Council.

Currently, the OECD which The Economist has dubbed “a club of wealthy countries”, comprises 34 countries from Europe, North America, the Pacific Rim and Latin America, representing almost two-thirds of global economic output.