Public Affairs

OECD High-Level Parliamentary Seminar - 2 October 2013


OECD Conference Centre, Paris

Wednesday 2 October 2013


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The seminar is open to representatives from the parliamentary/legislative branch of government. It offers an exceptional opportunity for Members of Parliament to exchange views with their colleagues and OECD experts on a range of key topics. Staffers are very welcome to attend.



Anthony Gooch, Director, Public Affairs and Communications Directorate, OECD

8:30-9:00 Arrival of participants and morning coffee
9:00-9:15 Welcome
Anthony Gooch
, Director, Public Affairs and Communications Directorate, OECD

The Economic and Employment Outlook
Pier Carlo Padoan, Deputy Secretary-General and Chief Economist, OECD - Presentation
Stefano Scarpetta, Director, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD - Presentation

Forecasts from the OECD’s Economic Outlook published in May (and updated in early September) and the OECD’s Employment Outlook (published in July) indicate that that although the recovery remains disappointing, the global economy is moving forward, but it is doing so at multiple speeds: Radically new policy is being implemented in Japan, the United States is benefiting from a repaired financial system and the euro area is challenged by still-rising unemployment. Many emerging market economies are faced with new imbalances driven by policy spillovers from other regions. While, contrary to widespread perceptions, the pace of fiscal consolidation on the two sides of the Atlantic has not been dissimilar; employment realities now appear increasingly divergent. This divergence in employment landscapes likely reflects differences in labour market institutions and financial sector repair. Macroeconomic policies need to be supported by growth-enhancing structural reforms, including reforms to the labour code, and effective activation strategies. Moreover, young people in many countries have been particularly hard hit by the crisis and the OECD has recently set out an Action Plan for Youth to help mitigate further economic and social scarring.

More information: Economic Outlook, Employment Outlook, OECD work on Employment and Economics


Coffee break

11:15–12:30 An Update on BEPS
Pascal Saint-Amans
, Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD - Presentation
Discussant: Cornelis de Jong, Member of the European Parliament, Netherlands

In an increasingly interconnected world, national tax laws have not always kept pace with global business models, fluid capital, and the overall digitalisation of economy, leaving gaps that can be exploited by multinationals to artificially reduce their taxes. This undermines the fairness and integrity of tax systems. At the request of the G20, in July 2013 the OECD unveiled the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), identifying 15 specific actions to equip governments with the domestic and international instruments they need to address BEPS in a comprehensive manner. The Action Plan recognises the importance of addressing the borderless digital economy, and will develop a new set of standards to prevent double non-taxation and ensure that profits are taxed where they are actually generated. This will require closer international co-operation, greater transparency, data and reporting requirements. Taking into account the need for innovative approaches to deliver changes quickly, a multilateral instrument will also be developed for interested countries to rapidly align their existing network of bilateral treaties. The actions outlined in the plan are aimed to be delivered within the coming 18 to 24 months.

More information: BEPS




Migration in Times of Crisis
Jean-Christophe Dumont
, Head of International Migration Division, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD - Presentation
Discussant: Carmela Silva Rego, Member of Parliament, Spain

After three years of continuous decline during the financial crisis, migration has started to pick up again, largely driven by movement within the European Union. This trend has been accompanied by policy developments introducing far-reaching changes into immigration systems, in order to stay fit in the global competition for talent, including both workers and students. Despite this progress however, many migrants continue to face great obstacles. Long-term unemployment has risen sharply among migrants, and is cause for concern. Discrimination hinders much untapped talent and yet OECD data indicates that over the long-term, the fiscal impact of migrants is broadly neutral, or positive in some cases with work being the main determinant of migrants’ fiscal contribution. Raising the employment levels of migrants to that of the native-born would generate significant economic returns, especially in countries with large, established immigrant populations. In a time of fiscal constraint, governments must make tough decisions on spending; the OECD encourages them to avoid systematic cuts to integration programmes, but instead to concentrate on measures that provide the largest added value, including language and professional training, as well as a focus on the most vulnerable groups, such as migrant youth.

More information: OECD work on Migration

15:15–16:30 Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying
Mario Marcel, Deputy Director, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate, OECD - Presentation

Building on the global policy debate launched at the OECD Forum on Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying on 27-28 June 2013, this session will focus on the concerns and risks related to lobbying and the mechanisms to rebuild trust in the policy making process. A recent OECD survey among parliamentarians, the executive and lobbyists recognises that lobbying provides important contributions to informed public decision-making, however, there are concerns and risks associated to undue influence and regulatory capture. 90% of parliamentarians who responded to the survey believe that transparency of lobbying activities would help alleviate actual or perceived problems of inappropriate influence peddling by lobbyists. Yet, implementing transparency requirements in a cost-effective manner remains a challenge for many countries. When surveying stakeholders on what types of information they believed should be made public, lobbyists tended to have a similar view as the executive branch, while parliamentarians disagreed somewhat, believing information on financing behind lobbying activities and lobbying expenses are more important to disclose compared to lobbyists’ names, contact details or employer. The movement between the public and private sector by officials and lobbyists was identified by all stakeholders as an emerging risk to the integrity of decision-making. Despite this concern, as many as 74% of surveyed parliamentarians responded that there are no restrictions in place for a parliamentarian to engage in lobbying activities after leaving parliament. This session will shape the OECD Trust Agenda and contribute to the on-going OECD review of lessons learned in implementing the 2010 OECD Principles on Transparency and Integrity in Lobbying for an informed, fair and inclusive public decision-making process.

More information: OECD work on Lobbying
16:30-17:45 How’s life? 2013: Focusing on people
Martine Durand
, Chief Statistician and Director of Statistics Directorate, OECD - Presentation

The session will offer a preview of the forthcoming edition of the report How’s Life?, released for the first time in 2011 , as part of the OECD Better Life Initiative. How’s Life? provides evidence on a wide range of aspects that matter most to people’s lives, using a framework that shifts from traditional economic measures and puts people at the centre. This framework features eleven dimensions of human well-being, including people’s income and wealth, their jobs and housing conditions, their health and skills, the time they devote to their families and friends, their ties with other people in their community, how much they trust institutions and their capacity to act as informed citizens, the quality of the environment, their experiences of violence and victimisation, their feelings and life evaluations. Thus countries’ performances are no longer assessed through the lens of GDP only. Rather, the new metrics used in How’s Life? allow us to gauge whether a range of well-being outcomes in each country are moving in line with the aspirations of citizens. In the two years since the first edition was published, OECD work on well-being has had a profound influence on the way well-being is measured across the world and on the public debate on what matters to citizens. This edition explores three topics in well-being that may offer new insights for policy-making; gender gaps in well-being; well-being at the workplace; and the sustainability of well-being over time.

More information: OECD Better Life Initiative
17:45-18:00 Conclusions
Anthony Gooch
, Director, Public Affairs and Communications Directorate, OECD


Practical Information


Contact: For further details or to register for this seminar, please contact Jennifer Bisping [; Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 93 26] or Silvia Terrón [; Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 95 72].


Seminar venue: OECD Conference Centre
2, rue André Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
Tel: 33 (0)1 45 24 82 00


Seminar Languages: There will be simultaneous interpretation in English and French.


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