- The OECD has set out a path for Latvia’s accession to the Organisation, reinforcing a commitment to extend its global membership. The 34 OECD Members have approved a Roadmap to accession for Latvia establishing the process and setting out the terms for future membership. This follows the political decision taken at the OECD Ministerial Meeting in Paris in May 2013.
- Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said: “Launching talks with Latvia underlines the Organisation’s commitment to broaden its reach and its position as a global standard setter. Our joint objective is to work together to bring Latvia’s policies closer to OECD best practices.”
The first step in the process will see Latvia submit an Initial Memorandum setting out its position on some 250 OECD legal instruments (see www.oecd.org/acts). This will in turn lead to a series of technical reviews by OECD experts, who will collect further information from Latvia through questionnaires and fact-finding missions.
As part of the accession process, the OECD will evaluate Latvia’s implementation of the Organisation’s legal instruments and best policies and practices. Its Committees may make recommendations for adjustments to legislation, policy or practice to bring Latvia closer to OECD instruments or best practices, serving as a catalyst for reform.
Latvian officials will now begin to engage with OECD Committees composed of experts drawn from Member countries in the following areas: Investment, Bribery in International Business Transactions, Corporate Governance, Financial Markets, Insurance & Private Pensions, Competition, Tax, Environment, Chemicals, Public Governance, Regulatory Policy, Statistics, Economics, Education, Employment, Labour & Social Affairs, Health, Trade and Export Credits, Fisheries, Science & Technology, IT & Communications and Consumer Policy.
Once the Committees give their green light, a final decision must be taken by all OECD Member countries in the governing body, the OECD Council. In accordance with the OECD Convention, decisions on membership are taken by unanimity.
Created in 1961 as the successor to the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, which administered the Marshall Plan at the end of WWII, OECD serves as an economic, environmental and social policy forum for its 34 member countries, as well as partners worldwide on the world’s most important global challenges. Its aim is to devise better policies and better lives.
The OECD’s current members are: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The last accession process dates to 2007, when OECD invited five nations to open talks on accession. Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia became full members in 2010. Accession talks with the Russian Federation are on-going and the accession process for Colombia was launched only last month.