SGELEG › The Accession Process
Article 1 of the OECD Convention sets out three principle aims for the Organisation, one of which is "to contribute to sound economic expansion in member as well as non-member countries in the process of economic development".
While engagement with non-Members has always been important to the Organisation, since the early 1990s, its importance has increased in a number of ways: the accession of new Members, strengthened co-operation with "Key Partners" and closer involvement of non-Members in subsidiary bodies through various forms of partnerships.
Since 1994 eleven countries have joined the OECD: Mexico (1994), the Czech Republic (1995), Hungary (1996), Poland (1996), Korea (1996), the Slovak Republic (2000), Chile (2010), Israel (2010), Slovenia (2010), Estonia (2010) and Latvia (2016).
Becoming a Member of the OECD is not a simple formality but is the result of a rigourous review process. The OECD governing body (the Council), which comprises all the Members of the Organisation, decides whether to open accession discussions with a country and fixes the terms, conditions and process for accession.
In 2007, accession discussions were opened with Chile, Estonia, Israel, the Russian Federation and Slovenia (Council Resolution on Enlargement and Enhanced Engagement). The terms, conditions and process for the accession were set out in Roadmaps for each country: Chile, Estonia, Israel, the Russian Federation and Slovenia. Four of these countries have now become Members of the Organisation: Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia. Further to a meeting of the OECD Council on 12 March 2014, activities related to the accession process of the Russian Federation are postponed for the time being.
On 29 May 2013, the OECD Council Meeting at Ministerial Level decided to open accession discussions with Colombia and Latvia (Council Resolution on Strengthening the OECD's Global Reach). The terms, conditions and process for the accession were set out in Accession Roadmaps adopted by Council on 19 September 2013 for Colombia and on 15 October 2013 for Latvia. Latvia became a Member of the OECD on 1 July 2016.