The European Union's Role in International Economic Fora - Paper 3: The OECD

15-06-2015

This paper forms part of a series of nine studies on the role of the European Union in international economic fora, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament. It provides factual background information about the OECD, the EU’s role and representation therein, its accountability as well as the coordination and impact thereof. Key conclusions are that, despite the particular importance the OECD gained during the financial crisis, there is limited knowledge as to how it operates and is governed. Although EU Member States constitute more than half of the OECD countries and the EU contributes substantially to the OECD budget on a voluntary basis, the ambiguous and out-dated status of the OECD deprives the EU from voting rights and budgetary oversight. The EU shall pay more attention to this ‘policy pathfinder’ OECD, including when its Member States’ economic trends are being examined and when tailor-made advice is given to EU Member States in economic distress, as well as on critical tax policy issues. Therefore, the EU could formalise its status, develop a consistent and comprehensive coordinated approach on OECD issues by overhauling its long-standing coordination mechanisms, and establish a regular, open and effective reporting intra-EU institutions, which could allow for parliamentary oversight.

This paper forms part of a series of nine studies on the role of the European Union in international economic fora, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament. It provides factual background information about the OECD, the EU’s role and representation therein, its accountability as well as the coordination and impact thereof. Key conclusions are that, despite the particular importance the OECD gained during the financial crisis, there is limited knowledge as to how it operates and is governed. Although EU Member States constitute more than half of the OECD countries and the EU contributes substantially to the OECD budget on a voluntary basis, the ambiguous and out-dated status of the OECD deprives the EU from voting rights and budgetary oversight. The EU shall pay more attention to this ‘policy pathfinder’ OECD, including when its Member States’ economic trends are being examined and when tailor-made advice is given to EU Member States in economic distress, as well as on critical tax policy issues. Therefore, the EU could formalise its status, develop a consistent and comprehensive coordinated approach on OECD issues by overhauling its long-standing coordination mechanisms, and establish a regular, open and effective reporting intra-EU institutions, which could allow for parliamentary oversight.