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 ten 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) and Estonia (2010).
Becoming a member of the OECD is not an automatic process. The Member countries of the Organisation, meeting in its governing body (the Council) decide whether to open accession discussions with a country and fix 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, pdf, 93kb), the terms, conditions and process for the accession were set out in Roadmaps for each country: Chile (pdf, 266 kb), Estonia (pdf, 265 kb), Israel (pdf, 266 kb), the Russian Federation (pdf, 268 kb) and Slovenia (pdf, 267 kb). Four of these countries have now become Members of the Organisation and discussions with the Russian Federation are continuing.
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, pdf, 212 kb). Accession Roadmaps for Colombia and Latvia were adopted by Council on 19 September 2013 and 15 October 2013. The Council also decided to review the situation in due course with a view to taking a decision to open accession discussions with Costa Rica and Lithuania in 2015.