SGELEG › FAQ
The status of the European Commission within the OECD is unique. Supplementary Protocol No. 1 to the OECD Convention states that "The European Commission shall take part in the work of the Organisation".
This has been summarised as follows: "The representative of the Commission has almost the same rights as Member countries. He or she has the right to speak at any point and not just at the end of a session as is often the case for observers. He or she may be elected as a member of the bureau of subsdiary bodies, participate fully in the preparation of texts, including legal acts and has an unrestricted right to make proposals and suggest changes". However, the representative of the Commission does not have the right to vote and does not officially take part in the adoption of legal acts submitted to the Council.
What is the difference between the various OECD legal instruments?
Article 5 of the OECD Convention states that "in order to achieve its aims, the Organisation may: (a) take decisions which, except as otherwise provided, shall be binding on all Members; and (b) make recommendations to members". The significance of Decisions, Recommendations and other legal instruments is explained here.
All OECD Decisions, Recommendations and Other Instruments in force are available in the Legal Directorate's database.
Overseas territories of OECD Member countries are not members of the OECD in their own right, but some of them are covered by the OECD Convention.
This is the case for the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Bermuda.
This is not the case for any other UK overseas territories, including the British Virgins, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.