OECD Takes First Step in Accession Discussions with Bulgaria

NW 11:35:31 26-01-2022

OECD Takes First Step
in Accession Discussions
with Bulgaria

Paris, January 26 (BTA) - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said in a press release that on Tuesday its Council had decided to open accession discussions with Bulgaria and five other candidates to OECD membership (Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Peru and Romania). This decision comes after careful deliberation by OECD Members on the basis of the progress made by the six countries since their first respective requests for OECD membership, the statement specified.

OECD Secretary-General Mathias Corman has informed Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov of the OECD Council's decision in a letter, it transpires from the press release.

Individual roadmaps for the detailed assessment process will now be prepared, provided the candidate countries confirm their adherence to the values, vision and priorities reflected in the OECD's 60th Anniversary Vision Statement and the Ministerial Council Statement adopted in 2021.

As responses are received from candidate countries, individual Accession Roadmaps will be considered and adopted by the OECD Council, setting out the terms, conditions and process for accession and reflecting priority areas already identified by OECD Members. The process will include a rigorous and in-depth evaluation by more than 20 technical committees, of the candidate country's alignment with OECD standards, policies and practices.

As a result of these technical reviews, and prior to any invitation to join the organisation as Members, changes to the candidate countries' legislation, policy and practices will be required to bring them into line with OECD standards and best practices, thus serving as a powerful catalyst for reform.

There is no deadline for completion of the accession processes. The outcome and timeline depend on each candidate country's capacity to adapt and adjust to align with the OECD standards and best practices.

Once all the technical committees have completed their reviews, a final decision will need to be taken by unanimity of all member countries in the OECD Council.

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Bulgaria established cooperation with the OECD in the early 1990s. The country actively participates in the OECD South East Europe Regional Programme and shares in the organisation's statistical and information reporting systems, comparative analyzes (including the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)), publications, policy reviews, etc.

Bulgaria's first official expression of interest in entering the OECD dates from 2007. Since then, the request to join the Organisation has been repeatedly affirmed, the last time in 2017.

Currently, Bulgaria holds a member/associate member status in 13 OECD working groups, a participant status in six other bodies, and a guest/observer status in another 19.

This country has adhered to 32 OECD legal instruments and has requested accession to another six. Bulgaria has acceded to six out of eight OECD standards the accession to which is considered mandatory in the Framework for the Consideration of Prospective Members, and the procedure for adhering to the remaining two standards is in progress.

Bulgaria joined the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, effective January 1, 2021. DS/LG