The OECD and global governance
The OECD is an international organization created on 14 December 1960, taking over from the OEEC which was itself founded in 1948, to implement the Marshall plan in order to accelerate and strengthen the reconstruction of Western European economies after the Second World War. Having fulfilled this mission, the leading European countries, Canada and the United States deemed it appropriate and necessary to continue and extend their cooperation on a permanent basis. Japan was accepted in 1964. In the 1990s it was the turn of Mexico, South Korea and three Central and Eastern European countries, namely Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, to be accepted. Today the OECD has 30 Member States and has launched an enlargement process for 5 new Members (Russia, Chile, Israel, Slovenia, Estonia) and a dialogue called “enhanced engagement” with 5 emerging economic powers (China, Indian. Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia).
Its area of competence and expertise is very broad (macro economy, sectoral policies, industry, agriculture, science and technologies, health, education, etc.), the substantive committees conducting many studies and analyses published and used outside. Moreover, theOECD’s legislative power is also significant in various fields such as investment (convention on investment), export-credit or combating corruption (convention against corruption).
The OECD, whose headquarters is in Paris and which has regional offices in Washington, Tokyo, Berlin and Mexico, has about 2500 employees, of whom 2200 are based in Paris. Its 2008 budget is 342 million Euros, a figure which reaches 430 million including voluntary contributions. France’s total contributions in 2008 stood at 25.7 million Euros. Its Secretary General is, since May 2006, the former Mexican Minister of Finance, Mr.Angel Gurria.
2. The OECD’s opening to new relevant economic actors
In order to remain relevant in the context of globalization, the OECD decided in May 2007 to start membership negotiations with five countries (Israel, Russia, Chile, Slovenia, Estonia). Moreover, in parallel with the Heiligendamm-L’Aquila process (opening of dialogue by G8 countries with China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, which is also a member of the OECD), the Secretariat of which is hosted by the OECD since spring 2007, the Council of Ministers of May 2007 took the decision to initiate an enhanced cooperation (“enhanced engagement”) by the OECD with 5 major emerging economies: China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.
In the context of the overhaul of global economic governance and the role of international institutions making it necessary to fight against the global economic and financial crisis, the OECD would like to become the “globalization secretariat” to bring closer relationship between developed and emerging economies. It conducts particularly interesting work on fiscal transparency, corporate social responsibility, freedom of investment or the transparency of development aid.
Updated on 16.11.10