Estonia became a member country when it signed the Convention founding the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on 9 December 2010, thereby pledging its full dedication to achieving the Organisation’s fundamental aims.
On 10 May 2010, OECD countries issued an invitation to Estonia to become a member of the OECD.
The OECD Council at Ministerial level adopted a resolution on 16 May 2007 to open discussions with Estonia for its membership of the Organisation. On 30 November 2007, the OECD Council approved the 'roadmap to accession' for Estonia for Estonia, as well as four other prospective new members.
In October 1996, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania jointly addressed the OECD Council to request the establishment of an OECD Baltic Regional Programme, and stated their intention to seek OECD membership later.
Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, and Prime Minister Andrus Ansip sign the Accession Agreement in Tallinn, 3 June 2010 (Photo: State Chancellery of Republic of Estonia).
Estonia signed the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises in September 2001. In December 2004, Estonia acceded to the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. Estonia participates in the Bologna Process, in the International Transport Forum and the Directing Group of the Institutional Management Programme in Higher Education (IMHE).
What does the permanent delegation do?
Like all the member countries, the Estonian government maintains a permanent delegation to the OECD, composed of an ambassador and diplomats. As a member of the Council, Estonia's ambassador, in consultation with his peers, agrees the programme of work which is described in the annual report, and establishes the volume of the annual budget, contributions being assessed according to the relative size of each country’s economy.
Members of the Delegation monitor the work of the OECD’s various committees as well as the activities of the International Transport Forum (ITF), the International Energy Agency (IEA), and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
Delegations thus play a vital communication role in providing liaison between the OECD Secretariat and national authorities. They represent their governments’ positions in multilateral negotiations, indicate areas in which their governments seek OECD expertise and endeavour to help disseminate OECD recommendations in their respective countries. In doing so, they ensure that there is a good fit between OECD work and the issues of concern in their country.
What are the benefits of OECD membership?
Estonia participated in the OECD’s Baltic Regional Programme which from 1998 to 2004 was the OECD’s main vehicle for policy co-operation with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As one of the most successful reformers in Central and Eastern Europe, Estonia not only learned from OECD members’ expertise, but also had important reform experience to share with OECD members and others, e.g. in the field of tax and deregulation. Until end-2006, Estonia also participated in SIGMA, in a programme assisting the new EU members’ decision makers and administrations in meeting the conditions for EU Membership.
The benefits for countries are many. Through its country surveys and comparable statistical and economic data, the OECD provides its member countries tools with which to analyse and monitor their economic, social and environmental policies. Countries can draw on the OECD’s reservoir of expertise, including peer reviews, and they can access all of the research and analysis conducted by the Secretariat. Covering the full economic and social spectrum, this work could not be carried out by any one country alone.
In addition to its economic intelligence functions, the OECD is above all a forum within which countries can discuss and share national experience, identify best practices and find solutions to common problems. The OECD having working relationships with over 100 non-member economies, members benefit from dialogue and consultations with all players on the world scene, in a context of increased interdependence that demands global rules of the game.
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