The Commission of the European Union (EU) takes part in the work of the OECD, in accordance with the Supplementary Protocol to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This participation goes well beyond that of a mere observer. At the same time, the EU undertook to co-operate fully in achieving the fundamental goals of the Organisation.
What role does the Delegation play?
Like member countries, the EU maintains a Permanent Delegation to the OECD, composed of an ambassador and diplomats. The ambassador, in consultation with his peers, helps formulate the programme of work. The other members of the Delegation monitor sit on the OECD’s various specialised committees which monitor the work of the Secretariat in accordance with the Programme of Work.
The EU does not, on the other hand, contribute to the budget of the Organisation, and its representative is not entitled to vote when legal acts are being adopted by the Council, the decision-making body of the OECD. He may, however, be elected as a member of the bureau of subsidiary bodies, and participates fully in the preparation of texts, including legal acts, with an unrestricted right to make proposals and suggest changes.
What are the benefits ?
The benefits for the EU, and notably for European Union countries which are not Members of the OECD, are many. Through its surveys of EU policies and of the Euro zone and its regular production of statistical data and economic comparisons, the OECD provides the material required in order to analyse and monitor its economic, social and environmental policy. The EU can thus draw on the OECD’s unique reservoir of expertise, including peer reviews, and can access all of the research and analysis conducted by the Secretariat.
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 70 non-member economies, the European Union benefits from dialogue and consultations with all players on the world scene, in a context of increased interdependence that demands global rules of the game.