Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD comprises 36 member countries, which collectively account for 62.2% of the world economy, 61.2% of world merchandise imports and 17.5% of the world’s population. It is dedicated to ensuring the sustainable economic prosperity of its members and non-members through the advancement of economic, social and democratic best practices. Within the OECD, governments work together to address the challenges of globalization and technological development.
The OECD is a key multilateral forum through which members and partners, supported by a secretariat, collaboratively develop evidence-based policies and practices to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth and address social and development issues with a view to improving living standards around the world.
The OECD brings together 36 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America and the Pacific. Its primary purpose is to provide a forum to discuss and identify compatible, mutually supporting and constructive approaches to economic and social issues. This helps ensure sustainable economic growth and provides employment and rising standards of living for the international community.
The organization addresses a wide range of international and domestic policy issues. Broad themes are analyzed and debated by OECD delegates: trade, social and welfare issues, public governance, development, tax, transport, science and technology and innovation.
The OECD grew out of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation, set up by the United States, Canada and European countries to coordinate the Marshall Plan. In 1961, 20 countries, signed the convention to create the OECD to assist governments in achieving economic growth and development. Over the last 40 years the OECD’s membership and scope has grown considerably.
Almost all regions of the globe are now represented among the OECD’s 36 members. However, its work is not merely for the benefit of members alone: recognizing the harmonization of the global economy, the OECD reaches out to over 100 developing and emerging countries.
The OECD is the world’s largest and most reliable source of comparable statistical, economic and social data. It provides an objective comparative analysis of members’ policies and performances, develops best practices, and undertakes peer reviews on a wide variety of key economic, social and environmental policy issues. It develops guidelines and agreements to better harmonize policies across the OECD and undertakes analysis and outreach in selected non-member countries. To achieve this, the organization pursues:
- public policy research, either breaking new research ground (in areas such as digitalization, taxation, the nature of work, inclusive growth, health, education, trade and services, development financing and innovation) or advancing knowledge (on economic outlooks, aging, migration, aid effectiveness, job creation, structural adjustment, etc.);
- soft law, by putting forward common international practices and standards in areas such as taxation, corporate governance and the measurement of innovation and classification of science, tariffs and trade flow data; and
- peer reviews, which represent one of the OECD’s core strengths by offering to its 36 members a framework to examine and compare experiences and discuss “best practices” in a host of areas from economic policy to environmental protection to job-creation strategies.
The decision-making body of the organization is the Council, comprising an ambassador from each member country and one from the European Commission. The Council provides guidance to the organization and its work. Member countries meet and exchange information in committees, in which national representatives advance ideas and review progress in defined areas of policy. There are about 250 committees, working groups and experts groups in all, bringing together some 40,000 officials each year to review and contribute to the work undertaken by the OECD Secretariat.
Co-operation between Lithuania and OECD
The intention to become a full member of the OECD has been indicated in the programmes of the Lithuanian Government since year 2000.
In September 2002, an official declaration of Lithuania’s intention to become a full member of the OECD was presented to the Organization’s Secretary-General. In 2012, Lithuania renewed its membership application.
In May 2013, OECD Council resolution on Global Reach has been adopted, mentioning the initiation of more active Lithuania-OECD co-operation and a possibility to open accession negotiations with Lithuania in 2015. In October 2013, Lithuania-OECD Action Plan for 2014-2015 has been adopted, identifying the main areas of enhanced co-operation.
9 April 2015 - OECD Council agreed to invite Lithuania for accession talks. The official decision was confirmed at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting on 4 June 2015. During the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania signed the Agreement on the Privileges, Immunities and Facilities Granted to the OECD. The Agreement is an integral part of the accession documents.
8 July 2015 - OECD Council adopted the Roadmap for the Accession of Lithuania to the OECD Convention, also known as the Accession Roadmap, where all membership obligations and accession procedures are laid out.
21 January 2016 - Lithuania took an important first step in the accession process by submitting an Initial Memorandum which set out the country’s position on approximately 250 OECD legal instruments in force and included an assessment of the conformity of Lithuania’s legislation, policies and practices with the instrument. This allowed the launch of the technical reviews in the 21 OECD committees listed in Lithuania's Accession Roadmap.
February 2016 – April 2018 - 21 OECD substantive committees and their subsidiary bodies conducted technical reviews of Lithuania. These reviews assessed (i) the willingness and ability of Lithuania to implement substantive OECD legal instruments; and (ii) Lithuania’s policies and practices as compared to OECD best policies and practices, in what amounts to an in-depth review of the candidate country in the relevant review areas.
OECD Committees examined Lithuania’s legislation and policies engaged in a wide range of areas, such as, 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, Labor & Social Affairs, Health, Trade, Export Credits, Fisheries, Science & Technology, Digital Economy Policy and Consumer Policy.
9 April 2018 - the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, visited the OECD and delivered a special address to the OECD Council on Lithuania’s progress throughout its accession process.
3 May 2018 - The OECD issued an invitation to Lithuania to become a member of the Organisation. The invitation resulted from the OECD Council's positive assessment of Lithuania's position with respect to OECD legal instruments, standards and benchmarks.
30 May 2018 - The Secretary-General of the OECd, José Ángel Gurría and the President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė, signed the Agreement on the Terms of Accession of the Republic of Lithuania to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
5 July 2018 - Lithuania deposited its instrument of accession to the OECD Convention, thereby becoming a full member of the Organisation.
OECD membership is a clear recognition that a country observes the highest global standards and a strong sign to international and domestic investors that its policies follow best practices in areas such as corporate governance, investment, competition, financial markets and public administration. OECD membership is regarded as a good indicator of the country’s economic stability and reliability, thus the membership has a positive influence on incoming FDI rate and international borrowing costs.
As a member of the OECD, Lithuania has an opportunity to participate in global decision-making on cutting-edge issues in economics, health, education and well-being in general. The OECD helps to set global standards in areas such as the fight against bribery, corporate governance, responsible business conduct, taxes and the environment.