Meeting of the OECD Global Parliamentary Network

 Meeting of the OECD Global Parliamentary Network 

with the participation of the Women in Parliaments Global Forum


Wednesday 12 October 2016

 OECD Conference Centre, Room CC1

2 rue André Pascal, Paris (16th arrondissement) 


Presentations / Photos




08:30 Arrival and coffee

Opening remarks - Update on the OECD Global Parliamentary Network
Anthony Gooch, Chair, Global Parliamentary Network; Director, Public Affairs and Communications, OECD


Digitalisation and the Future of Work
Paolo Falco, Labour Market Economist, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD
Andrew Wyckoff, Director, Science, Technology and Innovation, OECD
Discussant: Saskia Esken, Member of Parliament, Germany

Digitalisation has been underway for 50 years but crossed a critical threshold in last few years when over 80% of citizens in OECD countries had broadband subscriptions with the majority accessing the Internet via a smartphone.  This era of ubiquitous computing is transformational, and the widespread deployment of this infrastructure means that products, activities and interactions are increasingly "digital" and can be easily shared, stored or exchanged globally via the Internet. As a consequence, data flows have grown and are a new raw material for innovation in industry and society, unleashing new business models and modes of social interaction.  This transformation is just beginning and is poised to grow significantly as networked sensors and things become common-place.  These changes are disruptive and also at odds with public policies – many of which are legacies of a pre-digital, analogue era.  Reducing this gap and equipping policy-makers with ways to proactively seize the potential benefits and address the challenges related to digitalisation is at the core of a new cross-sectoral, multi-year project within the OECD.

These technological trends are not limited to one policy area, but their effects are particularly evident in the labour market, where they are profoundly affecting the nature of work, the structure and nature of the work environment, and the very nature of being an employee. We can’t predict exactly what the world of work will look like in the future or the specific types of jobs that will exist. What is clear, however, is that most sectors are already being affected. The platform (e.g. ‘sharing’, ‘gig’) economy offers workers great opportunities, including the flexibility of freelancing and holding multiple jobs (or gigs) to top up their income. At the same time, these new forms of work are challenging traditional institutions based on a unique employer-employee relationship. For instance, as new ways of organising work shift risk towards individual workers, who are increasingly in charge of their own training and of securing old-age and health insurance, existing models of social protection will need to be overhauled. How policy-makers, companies, employees and educators will adapt to these changes will mark the difference between being successful and being left behind.


Coffee break


Responsible Business Conduct
Roel Nieuwenkamp, Chair, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct
Discussant: Dominique Potier, Member of Parliament, France

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the most comprehensive set of recommendations and leading global standard on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). The Guidelines are unique in that they remain the only government-backed international instrument on RBC with a built-in grievance mechanism that enables stakeholders – trade unions, NGOs, local communities – to raise concerns to National Contact Points (NCPs) in cases where the Guidelines are not observed. NCPs are located in 34 OECD countries and 12 non-OECD countries, actively promoting the Guidelines, handling enquiries, and contributing to the resolution of issues arising from alleged non-observance.

As the role of business in society has evolved from the charitable and voluntary endeavours associated with corporate social responsibly to the more stringent expectations of RBC, MNEs are well-placed to take an active leadership role in addressing global social, environmental, developmental and human rights challenges. Since 2011, the Guidelines have included corporate supply chain responsibility and a number of countries have implemented legislation holding businesses accountable for carrying out the necessary due diligence to identify, prevent and mitigate real and potential adverse impacts related to their business operations or relationships, and for how they are addressed. In some countries, improving RBC standards of due diligence extends to human rights requirements, such as reporting sourcing from conflict areas and processes to manage the risks of human trafficking or forced labour.   

12:15-12:20 The OECD Global Parliamentary Network meeting “on the road” in Tokyo
Shouji Maitachi, Member of Parliament, Japan

Group Photo
Conference Centre Steps


Room George Marshall, OECD Château


Migration and Integration
Jean-Christophe Dumont, Head, International Migration Division, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD
Andreas Schleicher, Director, Education and Skills, OECD
Discussant: Yasmine Kherbache, Member of Parliament, Belgium

The challenges presented by migrant integration are complex, but we know that success requires comprehensive, well-tailored measures that take into account an individual’s country of origin, educational background and family situation. Integration becomes more complicated when migrants are refugees who have suffered trauma and were unprepared for their departure – due to poor language skills and a lack of documentation certifying their level of competencies. Factors such as a host country’s previous integration successes and failures, immigrants’ country of origin and scepticism over their willingness to integrate into the host country can further compound such issues. But investing up-front to allow refugees to settle and develop their skills produces medium to long-term economic and social benefits. Those who stay will contribute to the labour market and support economic growth, in the same way as other migrants have in the past. Much remains to be done to give immigrants and their children the opportunities to succeed in life, despite significant progress in many countries. This portion of the presentation will share recent trends in migration and refugee flows and provide new evidence on the integration of refugees with possible policy implications and advice for European and other OECD countries.

One specific area essential to migrant integration success is education. Education can help young migrants integrate into society, learn the local language and develop the skills they will need for the adult world. Unfortunately, their track record in schooling is mixed – some do exceptionally well, but others encounter problems that can hold them back throughout life. Drawing on data from the OECD’s PISA programme, we can see how well immigrants do in education, and more importantly, ways in which they can be helped to make up for educational shortfalls.


Regenerating Democracy for a New Age
Anthony Gooch, Director, Public Affairs and Communications, OECD
Discussant: Janine Alm Ericson, Member of Parliament, Sweden

Today we are witnessing a surge in anti-globalisation sentiment, and a rise of populism in lieu of what should be informed political debate. Citizens' lack of trust in transparency of policy processes has led to a rejection of institutions and informed advice from experts. Have we entered a post-truth/post-fact era? While social media provide access to many more sources of information, the use of algorithms actually leads to a narrowing of views and perspectives, encroaching on the independent role of the media, further disrupting perception and side-lining facts. Does “civic tech” (civic technology) have the potential to bridge the divide between policy-makers and citizens, facilitating direct feedback on government initiatives and the possibility to co-construct policies? There are examples in OECD countries and across the globe that show the power of putting people first and humanising policy-making. Can civic tech provide a solution to reinvigorating democracy and mutual trust between governments and citizens?


Coffee break


Gender-Sensitive Policies
Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD
Willem Adema, Senior Economist, Social Policy Division, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD
Discussant: Laura Plascencia, Member of Parliament, Mexico

A fundamental human right, gender equality in social, economic, and political spheres has important consequences for men, women, their families and economic growth.  G20 countries have committed to reduce gender gaps in labour force participation rates by 25% by 2025. And policy-makers throughout G20 and OECD countries are debating whether and how – in line with international conventions such as the OECD Gender Recommendation - to level the playing field for women in paid and unpaid work. Given that women’s education now matches or outpaces men’s education in most OECD countries, there are potentially large losses when a woman drops out of the labour force. Significant gender disparities, such as gaps in the STEM field, women adjusting working hours to accommodate family roles and an under-representation of women among entrepreneurs, are continuing to affect women’s career opportunities and earnings progression.

Parliaments play a critical role in framing the overall conditions to advance gender equality - in the quality of the laws they adopt, the effectiveness of the oversight they provide on government action and even their internal structures and operations. Progress in representation of women among legislators and in parliamentary leadership roles can change the way laws are shaped and help to improve outcomes for women. Moreover, gender equality is a cross-cutting issue, which needs to be incorporated into the design, development, implementation and evaluation of relevant public policies and budgets. This session will explore what we mean when we say “gender sensitive policies”, how to tailor policy to be “gender-sensitive” and what impact this can have on budgets and well-being.


Closing remarks
Anthony GoochChair, Global Parliamentary Network; Director, Public Affairs and Communications, OECD