The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives. The organization aims to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all with its 60 years of experience and insights. Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, the OECD works on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges. Currently, the organization has 38 members.
The forerunner of the OECD was the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC), which was formed to administer American and Canadian aid under the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. The Convention transforming the OEEC into the OECD was signed at the Chateau de la Muette in Paris on 14 December 1960 and entered into force on 30 September 1961.
The OECD Council is the organisation’s overarching decision-making body. It is composed of ambassadors from Member countries and the European Commission, and is chaired by the Secretary-General. It meets regularly to discuss key work of the Organisation, share concerns and take decisions by consensus. Once a year, the OECD Council meets for the Ministerial Council Meeting, which brings together heads of government, economy, trade and foreign ministers from Member countries to monitor and set priorities for OECD’s work, discuss the global economic and trade context, and delve further into issues such as the budget or the accession process. The OECD works through more than 300 committees, expert and working groups which cover almost all areas of policy making. The work of the OECD is carried out by the Secretariat. It is led by the Secretary-General and composed of directorates and divisions that work with policy makers and shapers in each country, providing insights and expertise to help guide policy making based on evidence in close coordination with committees. Mathias Cormann, who was appointed for a five-year term on 1 June 2021, is the current Secretary-General.
The OECD regularly reviews its tools, policy analysis and standards to ensure that they are fit for purpose and maintain their relevance and impact. By convening countries and experts, stimulating technical dialogue, and sharing expertise on social, economic and environmental issues, the organization helps identify innovative and effective policy solutions. From improving economic performance and creating jobs to fostering strong education and fighting international tax evasion, OECD provides a unique forum and knowledge hub for data and analysis, exchange of experiences, best-practice sharing, and advice on public policies and international standard-setting.
Relations with OECD
As one of the twenty founding members of OECD, our country actively takes part in and contributes to the activities of the organization with its permanent delegation to the OECD both before 1961 and from this date onwards. Apart from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, positions belonging to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Undersecretariat of Treasury and Central Bank of Republic of Türkiye are embodied within the structure of our Permanent Representation to the OECD.
Relations between the Ministry and OECD
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is in charge of the coordination of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee (ELSA), which is one of the expert committees within the structure of OECD, at national level. The Committee leads OECD’s work on social policies such as monitoring and reviewing labour market policies, setting new trends in social and healthcare policies and impacts of international migration on labour market and performs activities in these fields. There exists three working groups and a programme affiliated to the Committee. These working parties of OECD are the Working Group on Migration, Working Group on Employment and Working Group on Social Policy. The Ministry and its affiliated organizations attend meetings of ELSA; and works on the reporting required as well as questionnaire form filling are carried out under the coordination of the Directorate for Foreign Relations.
The Ministry is also among the related institutions in “Task Force on Boosting Local Economy and Increasing Employment” under the responsibility of SMEs Development Organization KOSGEB and “Education Policies Committee” under the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education.
Closely monitoring the works performed by OECD in the fields falling within its sphere of activity, the Ministry participates in the meetings of the organization; information, documents and views requested with regard to the legislation and practices of our country along with other relevant issues are prepared and submitted to OECD.
Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee (ELSA)
Aging population and workforce, the increase in unemployment and growing impacts of migration caused by poverty on the economies of countries are the main working fields of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee. The Committee makes policy proposals to member countries through its activities on employment, social integration, migration, health and establishes a forum for sharing information, views and experiences by bringing together business world, representatives of civil society and academics.
The Committee conducts its activities on issues such as increasing employment rates and productivity in member states, modernization of social security schemes with the aim of resolving the problems posed by aging population, improving qualifications of employees, management of international migration in line with interests of both sending and receiving countries, establishment of high-performance healthcare systems, raising the age of retirement, integrating underrepresented populations in labour market such as women, migrants and “underqualified workers” into working life and enhancing capacities of employees.
Furthermore, the Committee monitors international migration tendencies, evaluates possible ways of international migration management and develops policy proposals by elaborating on issues such as social and economic impacts of migration.