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OECD Membership Grows

by Ulrike Lomas,, Brussels

12 May 2010

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has agreed to invite Estonia, Israel and Slovenia to become members of the Organisation, paving the way for its membership to grow to 34 countries.

“Estonia, Israel and Slovenia, along with Chile that has just deposited its instrument to become a full member, will contribute to a more plural and open OECD that is playing an increasingly important role in the global economic architecture,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said.

During nearly three years of accession negotiations, the three countries were reviewed by 18 OECD Committees with respect to their compliance with OECD standards and benchmarks.

“All three countries have been receptive to OECD recommendations on important issues and the membership talks have been constructive and open,” Mr. Gurría said. “The OECD accession process has delivered real policy changes and reform in all candidate countries. Once countries become members, this transformational process continues.”

The invitation to Estonia, Israel and Slovenia to join the OECD acknowledges the efforts already made to reform their economies, including in such areas as combating corruption, protecting intellectual property rights and ensuring high standards of corporate governance.

All three countries will contribute to OECD work in a number of specific areas. Estonia is an acknowledged world leader in innovative e-government and e-commerce initiatives. Israel’s scientific and technological policies have produced outstanding outcomes on a world scale. Slovenia has led the way in making public sector information available to all.

Estonia, Israel and Slovenia were invited to open accession talks in 2007, along with Chile and the Russian Federation. Chile became an OECD member earlier this year and membership talks with Russia are progressing. In parallel, the OECD is strengthening its growing partnership with major emerging economies, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

The OECD will welcome the three future members at a special ceremony during the annual meeting of the OECD Council at ministerial level on May 27 in Paris. The meeting will be chaired by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

TAGS: Slovenia | law | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | Estonia | Israel | corporate governance | standards

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