In a variety of ways.
The OECD’s core relationship with civil society is based on co-operation with business and trade unions:
These advisory bodies contribute to OECD’s work in all areas, whether on sustainable development, biotechnology, taxation, corporate governance, employment or development co-operation. In addition, annual consultations with Business at OECD and TUAC take place within the framework of the Liaison Committee of the OECD Council, which is chaired by the Secretary-General and open to all member countries. The OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) Bureau also consults annually with Business at OECD and TUAC ahead of the MCM. Since 2010, Business at OECD and TUAC have participated fully in the MCM.
Significant activities with other representatives of civil society, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), think tanks, academia, and citizens complement the OECD’s formal co-operation with Business at OECD and TUAC. These activities take various forms:
In addition to its Paris headquarters, the OECD has offices in Washington, DC, Tokyo, Mexico City and Berlin that offer a place to meet with civil society and that provide a window into the OECD’s work in those regions.
Beyond public consultations, events and webinars, civil society can and does contribute to our research and our work. As the Organisation’s secretariat, we support the activities of over 250 specialised OECD committees, working and expert groups, that are at the heart of the OECD’s structure. Committees are composed of government experts who meet several times a year to discuss policy issues.
These groups are where the analytical work and consensus-building that develop into government policies take place – and where civil society can have a real impact. They cover the same issue areas as government ministries (i.e. education, finance, trade, environment, development, etc.) and their conclusions can become official policy recommendations to governments or “OECD instruments”.
Each committee has a mandate that defines its objectives and how it engages with external stakeholders. These can involve informal, periodic discussions and consultations with civil society on specific issues to more structured arrangements and regular participation of civil society organisations in committee meetings.
As the OECD Civil Society team, we can help civil society organisations navigate these structures and identify opportunities to contribute and participate. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.