- The Organisation
- The Structure
- The objectives
- Ministerial Counicil Meeting
- Italy’s financial participation and presence of Italian representatives
The OECD was established pursuant to the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, signed on 14 December 1960 and put into force on 30 September 1961, to replace the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), or the so-called "Marshall Plan", which was created in 1948 for the post-war reconstruction of the European economy.
From the 20 initial member States, which included Italy as a founding State, the OECD now has 37 member States (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Hungary). Lithuania became the 36th member of the Organisation on 5 July 2018, after ratifying the membership agreement at the OECD Ministerial Meeting of 30 and 31 May 2018. Colombia, which had signed its membership agreement on the occasion of the OECD Ministerial Council held in May 2018, became member of the Organization on April 28, 2020, after depositing the instrument of accession to the OECD Convention. Costa Rica instead has still not finalised its membership talks with the Organization.
The possible start of membership talks with 6 other candidate Countries (Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania) is currently being discussed. The membership talks with the Russian Federation started in 2007, but were suspended in 2014 following the Ukraine crisis.
In its outreach activities aimed at facilitating policy convergence and reaching international consensus on best practices, the Paris-based Organisation has also strengthened relations with several emerging Countries such as Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Indonesia. The OECD also maintains close contacts with over 70 non-member Countries – developing counties and economies in transition (which can participate in the Organisation’s Committee meetings or specific programmes as observers) – as well as with other International Organisations.
The Paris-based OECD is endowed with a Secretariat, which has under its control over 300 Committees, Sub-Committees, Working Groups and Expert Groups which include delegates of the administrations and agencies of the Member States.
As of 1 June 2006, the Secretary General is Mexico’s Angel Gurria, who was confirmed into his third five-year term (2016-2021). Secretary General Gurria is assisted by the Deputy Secretaries General and by a Chief of Staff and Sherpa to the G20.
The OECD Council is the political decision-making body tasked with setting the Organisation strategic orientation and, in the performance of its mandate, is assisted by the Executive and Budget Committees. The Council is vested with the power to adopt binding decisions or recommendations and to approve the agenda of sector-specific Committees. On the Council sit The Permanent Representatives of Member States sit on the Council. The Council’s activities are prepared by the Executive Committee, the Budget Committee and the External Relations Committee.
The mission of the OECD is to promote policies to improve the economic and social wellbeing of citizens worldwide.
Within a vast realm of international organisations and faced with the urgency to outline a sustainable economic scenario, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development continues to rightfully play an eminent political and scientific role in fostering market integration and the achievement of the highest possible levels of sustainable economic and employment growth, by favouring investment and competitiveness while, at the same time, maintaining financial stability.
The Paris-based Organisation engages the different Government Administrations of Member States and their research centres and public policy makers, thus constituting a prestigious forum for the debate, exchange and harmonisation of the best available experiences and of national and international policies.
The issues addressed by the Organisation refer to numerous sectors, ranging from the economic (competition, agriculture, business, services, local development and trade) to the financial (financial markets, insurance, pensions, investment, taxes, as well as tax transparency and cooperation), to the social sector (education, employment, health and migration), governance (corporate and public sector reforms and fight against corruption), and from sustainable development (the environment, energy, fishing and sustainable development) to technological cooperation and innovation (digital, biotechnologies, ICTs).
Faced with the COVID-19 emergency, the OECD has taken immediate action to collect and publish on its website information on the measures taken by Member States to deal with it. The OECD has also made available numerous in-depth analyses and forecasts on the socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the various economic and social sectors, including some of particular interest to Italy (SMEs, tourism, employment, culture and territory). In the medium-term, the OECD's work will be useful in analysing the possible policy options needed for a sustainable recovery of the economy while, in the long term, its work will focus in particular on the analysis of the systemic impact of the pandemic on the economy, society, international trade and technology, with a view to stimulating a coordinated international response.
The OECD also acknowledges the contribution made by civil society to government decision and policy-making processes and therefore attaches great importance to the advisory role and the dialogue activities with civil society organisations.
In pursuing its objectives, the Organisation makes use of a broad set of tools, such as: adopting common principles, drafting and adopting binding agreements and Conventions; publishing the biannual Economic Outlook, containing an update on the global macroeconomic scenario; performing national and comparative studies; carrying out Country surveys conducted with a "peer review" method; outlining coordination guidelines for development cooperation policies through the Development Aid Committee (DAC).
Among the OECD’s initiatives, special mention should be made of its training activities. With reference to this realm of activities, Italy has cut itself a particularly high-profile role as the OECD’s training hub thanks to the three training centres that are located in our Country.
Among these, the “oldest” is the Trento Centre for Local Development, which was established in 2003 by the OECD in partnership with the Italian Government and the Autonomous Region of Trento (PAT) through a five-year MoU – subsequently renewed, the last time in December 2015 – to provide training on the subject of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and local development. The MoU’s latest renewal introduced several important innovations, including opening an Office in Venice and expanding the constituency to other public Agencies and Stakeholders. The OECD Trento Centre for Local Development is an integral part of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), which has recently been reorganised and expanded in order to constitute the Organisation’s platform for regional, local, urban and rural development, entrepreneurship, SMEs and tourism.
Moreover, in the framework of the OECD MENA Programme, the Centre of Caserta offers training to the Public Administrations of the Countries in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Operating since 2012 at the Reggia di Caserta, in the official premises of the Scuola Nazionale dell’Amministrazione (SNA), it aims at promoting capacity building initiatives to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the public sector of Arab Countries in transition, thus contributing to strengthen stability in the Countries on the Southern shore of the Mediterranean.
Lastly, the Ostia-based School of the Guardia di Finanza hosts the International Academy for Tax Crime Investigation, which holds intensive training courses by the Tax Police on combating tax evasion for OECD Member States and a number of developing countries. The Centre’s activities are part of the OECD-promoted activities in favour of a global approach to tax evasion, money laundering and corruption, as agreed by the participants in the first Forum on Tax and Crime, held in Oslo in 2011.
The OECD Ministerial Council Meeting constitutes the high point in the Organisation’s annual activities. It consists of a two-day session on a main theme, traditionally of an economic and social nature, and closes with the adoption by consensus of a negotiated Declaration. The Meeting is customarily preceded by a Forum open to the public, in which the same issues are debated by representatives of the political and institutional world and civil society organisations (universities, media, enterprises and NGOs) at non inter-governmental level.
The 2020 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting – under the Presidency of Spain and the Vice Presidency of Chile, Japan and New Zealand - originally scheduled for May, was postponed due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and took place remotely on October 28-29, 2020. It was dedicated to the topic of post-Covid 19 recovery with the title "The Path to Recovery: Strong, Resilient, Green and Inclusive". In preparation for the meeting, three Ministerial-level Round Tables were organised in VTC mode (in June, July and September), in which the 37 Member States, the EU, Costa Rica (which is about to complete the OECD accession procedure) and TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee) and BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee) were represented.
The OECD Budget ensures the Organisation’s functioning and activities and constitutes the basis on which to determine the mandatory contributions that Member States are obliged to provide.
The Organisation’s overall budget for 2020 amounts to over 391 million euros. Italy is the sixth-largest contributor, following the United States., Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and France, with a 4.1% statutory share.
Another financial provision that has been assuming an increasingly important role over the years is represented by the “voluntary contributions” that are offered by States and Institutions to finance the Organisation’s activities deemed to be of particular interest.
The share of Italian representatives to the OECD Secretariat has constantly grown over the last few years and Italy leads the OECD top executive list. According to the iOrganisation’s statistics, the Italian representatives account for 9% of its organisational chart.
Further information on the OECD is available on the Website of the Permanent Delegation of Italy to the International Organisations in Paris (www.italiarapparigi.esteri.it) and on the OECD website (www.oecd.org).