France’s action in the OECD


Created in 1960, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is made up of 38 Member States [1] among the most economically developed countries. The OECD is now a strategic economic institution, responsible for analysing and comparing public policies and making recommendations to governments, on the basis of recognized expertise. The OECD also seeks to take forward innovative proposals to address global issues.

An organization that has made a difference in global governance

For a long time it was limited to providing technical expertise, but during the 2008 economic crisis it took an active role in global economic governance.

Since the 2000s, the OECD has become a de facto secretariat of the G20 and key G7 partner, preparing and contributing to the work done by each of these forums and making the most of the mandates it was given by them to broaden its expertise beyond the economic sphere alone. The OECD therefore makes major contributions to climate and environmental issues, digital regulation and artificial intelligence, education, gender equality, social protection and major public governance issues.

The OECD also acts as the indispensable centre of reference for collecting official development assistance (ODA) through the work of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which brings together the 24 main bilateral donors (not including China). The DAC plays a fundamental role in establishing an objective comparison of the leading donors’ ODA, including in assessing challenges, such as aligning assistance with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Through its Development Centre, the OECD also provides support in the area of economic governance and development benefitting its partners, especially on the African continent.

The OECD works closely with non-Member States, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, and South Africa. It forges key partnerships with them to promote its standards and norms.

The OECD makes fighting inequalities and regulating globalization priorities of its work. It has therefore played a decisive role in concluding several structuring agreements for global economic governance, including the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) framework for tackling tax avoidance, launched after the 2008 financial crisis, the agreement on corporate taxation and the definition of a minimum tax rate, with 136 States in 2021. More broadly, the OECD standards and norms are used by more than just its members (anti-corruption, artificial intelligence, polluter pays principle, infrastructure, etc.) contributing to a regulatory race to the top.

A key organization for France

The OECD headquarters have been in Paris since its creation in 1961. As its host State, France maintains a singular relationship with the organization. Its two official working languages are French and English. The OECD attracted some 140,000 delegates and conference participants per year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has generated considerable savings for participating countries. For example, it has been estimated that up until 2019, the automatic information sharing between tax administrations established within the framework of the BEPS programme had generated $102 billion in additional tax revenues.

Through its expertise and its role in global governance, like France, the OECD advocates better regulated and more inclusive globalization, by supporting and hosting many French initiatives, such as the International Programme for Action on Climate (IPAC).

With its partners, France is now fully engaged in membership negotiations with six new countries:

  • Three European States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania)
  • Three South American States (Argentina, Brazil, Peru)

How does the OECD work?

OECD Ministerial Council Meeting

The OECD Council, the decision-making body, brings together once a year, all the ministries of its Member States to discuss the organization’s major issues.

The last Ministerial Council Meeting was held on 9 and 10 June 2022, under the Italian Presidency. Participants discussed the economic consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, criteria set for membership of new OECD States, the partnership with Africa, the reform of international taxation, the green transition and ways to prepare for pandemics.

Ministerial Council Statement, 9 and 10 June 2022

How French positions are established and their interministerial coordination

At the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, OECD governance is monitored by a specific working group, in liaison with the specialized departments in the Ministry directorates (United Nations, International Organizations, Human Rights and Francophonie Directorate, Economic Diplomacy Directorate, Sustainable Development Directorate). Interministerial coordination is ensured by the Secretariat General for European Affairs (SGAE).

Useful websites

[1Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea, Slovak Republic, Spain, Switzerland
Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States