SPOTLIGHT : Costa Rica has officially joined the OECD and on May 25, 2021 became the 38th member of the organization in its 60-year history – and the fourth from Latin America and the Caribbean after Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

According to phonejust, the OECD is an international organization that was founded in 1961 and emerged from the “Organization for European Economic Cooperation” (OEEC), which was entrusted with the support of the Marshall Plan.

Aim The
aim of the OECD is to make a contribution to the development of the world economy through economic cooperation between the member states and a dialogue with other countries in order to achieve “the highest possible and lasting growth and employment level as well as a rising standard of living while maintaining financial stability”.

OECD motto
“A better policy for a better life”

Members (38)
You will find a tabular overview of the members at the bottom of the page. The youngest members are Latvia (2016), Lithuania (2018), Colombia (April 2020) and Costa Rica (May 2021). The European Commission takes part in all meetings and deliberations. However, she is not a member and has no voting rights.

Candidate countries
The only candidate country in 2021 was Costa Rica. Accession talks have been going on since April 2015; on May 15, 2020 the country was invited to join. The accession talks with Russia were temporarily suspended in March 2014.

Partner countries
The 5 most important partner countries (key partners) are Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

members of the OECD (38)

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

The youngest members are Latvia (2016), Lithuania (2018), Colombia (April 2020) and Costa Rica (May 2021).


  • Council of Permanent Representatives of Members
    The Council is the supreme body of the OECD; it meets regularly (once a year at ministerial level). Resolutions and recommendations are made unanimously. With his veto a state can only prevent the decision on itis applied.
  • Executive Committee
    It comprises 14 members newly elected each year (including the G7 countries Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada, USA with permanent seats). The committee prepares the council meetings and coordinates the activities of the OECD.
  • Development Assistance Committee of
    this important Committee (Development Assistance Committee – DAC) 22 members includes including the European Commission. The DAC coordinates their development aid, which comprises around 95% of the official development aid of the industrialized countries.
  • International Secretariat
    The secretariat includes experts from all subject areas. It is subordinate to a Secretary General who is also President of the Council and represents the OECD externally. The Center for Cooperation with Non-Member States is attached to the Secretariat.

The OECD is based in Paris. The OECD is financed through membership fees and the sale of publications. The EU Commission takes part in the work of the OECD.


The current priorities of OECD activities include the following topics and policy areas: financial and monetary policy, employment, world trade, combating poverty, combating bribery and corruption, cooperation with non-member states, corporate governance, upbringing and education, aging societies, e-commerce, regulatory reform, multilateral investment protection agreement, sustainable development, taxation.


The OECD became known to a broader public through the PISA studies (school performance examinations or assessments) carried out since 2000, which are carried out in most member states of the OECD and an increasing number of partner countries – and in which Germany regularly takes the top position (just kidding; -).

The member states of the OECD are de facto the so-called “developed countries”, often referred to in a simplistic and slightly misleading way as “industrialized countries”. It has to be examined whether not all members of the EU should – almost automatically – also become member states of the OECD.

With its macroeconomic, trade policy and structural policy recommendations for the international economic policy discussion, the OECD is one of the most important and most recognized economic policy advisory organizations in the international field. Your task must be to make important contributions – which cannot be provided by other international organizations – in analysis and policy-making in the context of economic activity in a globalized environment.

The OECD sees itself as a community of values ​​(“like-mindedness”) of the member states and is therefore obliged to maintain high standards. The activities of the OECD towards non-members (outreach) must therefore be based on the common interests of the member states.

The OECD maintains special contacts with the “upper” emerging countries, the five so-called “major players” China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.