Yesterday my classmates and I went to visit the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) in Trento. In this city there is a centre focused about the LEED Programme (Local Employment and Economic Development). It was very interesting and helpful. The speaker (Emma Clarence if I remember well) explained us how the OECD works. She told us that it consists in a group of 30 member States, not necessarily European countries (for example US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and others are members), that work together in order to find solutions to common problems concerning economy, democracy, environment etc…

OECD is is an international organisation of thirty countries, most of which are recognized as developed countries, that accept the principles of democracy and free-market economy.
It originated in 1948, right after the end of the World War II, help the member States can solve common problems by comparing their policies, and identifing good practices.

OECD also provides statistics about trends and develops forecasts on economic developments, social changes and trends of trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more. OECD is one of the world’s largest and most reliable sources of comparable statistical, economic and social data.


Established: 1948, reformed in 1961
Location: Paris, France
Members: 30 countries, committed to democracy and market economy
Budget: EUR 342.9 million (2008)
Secretariat staff: 2 500
Secretary-General: Angel Gurría
Publications: 250 new titles/year
Official languages: English/French

(source: [www.oecd.org])

According to the article 1 of the OECD Convention, it has six missions:

· Support economic growth;
· Boost employment;
· Raise living standards;
· Maintain financial stability;
· Assist other countries’ economic development;
· Contribute to growth in world trade;

For the year 2009, OCED has four priorities:

· Innovation;
· Immigration;
· Healthcare;
· Water;

Our guide in Oecd works in the field of social inclusion and focused her explanation on the commitment of OECD toward problems concerning immigration, explaining that the priority for the Organization is to provide tools and discussion opportunities in order to boost the employment of skilled and unskilled labour force among migrants, particularly in countries where the effects of migrations are stronger.

Next picture shows the OECD organization:


The OECD is driven by interlinked relationships among the three institutions showed in the picture.

The Committees

Representatives of the member countries constitute committees to advance ideas and focus on specific policy areas, such as economics, trade, science, employment, education or financial markets.There are about 200 committees.

The Council

Representative of the member countries and of the European Commission plan the set of problems for the OECD to work on in the forthcoming years, and its priorities. The decisions are taken by consensus.

The Secretariat

The big staff (around 2500 people) of the OECD secretariat works to support the activities of the committees.
This staff includes economists, lawyers, scientists and other professionals, who provide research, analysis, forecasts, and recomendations.

Here you can find some nice examples of the OECD achievements which could help you to understand the importance of this organization:

1)Improving transparency and ethics in international business

• Principles of Corporate Governance
• Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
• Anti-Bribery Convention
• Polluter-Pays Principle (PPP)

2)Simplifying tax issues in international transactions

• Model Tax Convention

3)Helping emerging and transition economies

• Co-operation programmes with emerging market economies including China, India and Brazil

The office of OECD in Trento concerns the LEED programm, started in 1982 after France and Italy started focusing upon the changes in their economies.
The main idea of the LEED (Local Employment and Economic development) is that, as everything happening at local level in the economy of a member State affects, directly or indirectly, all the other local economies, it is necessary to have an intergovernmental guide able to co-ordinate the member States' policies.
The main objectives of the LEED Program are:

· to promote exchange of experience and information and the diffusion of innovation concerning the development of local employment and entrepeneurship and the renewal of local economies;

· to promote exchange of experience and information on innovable local development policies and practices among OECD member and non-member countries;

· to design the methods for and to undertake the social and economic evaluation of new employment and enterprise initiatives and local economies and local policies;

· to provide support and assistance for member Countries in the design, implementation and assessment of local strategies, with particular attention to the functioning of local partnerships.

In particular, the OECD Trento mission is to improve the quality of public policy in economc, labour market, and social areas, implemented at the local level and to make sure that the member Countries have the ability to recognize and address the rising problems. In this specific momet they are working mostly with Countries of the South-Eastern Europe.
Another important point for OECD Trento is to help the States to build capacity of local developmentactors, serving as critical link between local and regional institutions, and between the OECD and the sub-national bodies.

You can dowload the complete brochure about OECD here.

In my opinion the role of the OECD is going to be even more crucial because of the current financial crisis. The OECD could be the "key player" for the economic recovery, if it will be able to really help the governments to dialogue and collaborate with each other.

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