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 BIAC 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 BIAC and TUAC ahead of the MCM. Since 2010, BIAC 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 BIAC 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.
Absolutely. OECD directorates support the activities of over 250 specialised OECD committees, working groups and expert groups that are at the heart of OECD activity. It is in these groups that the analytical work and consensus-building that develop into government policies take place–and where civil society can have a real impact.
The committees are composed of government experts who meet several times a year to discuss policy issues. They cover the same areas as government ministries and their conclusions can become official policy recommendations to governments or “OECD instruments”. CSOs that want to influence the OECD’s work are thus advised to work with both government representatives on the relevant committees and OECD staff.
OECD committees have developed their own processes for interacting with civil society. Some of them hold informal, periodic discussions with civil society on specific issues, while others meet regularly with civil society in a more structured arrangement. Some CSOs have observer status in some committees while others participate fully in the meetings. CSOs have also been invited to participate in meetings at the ministerial level. The OECD is currently looking at ways to improve and increase the consistency in consultation arrangements. See our calendar of public consultations.