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Preparation for accession to the OECD

The decision to open discussions for the accession of countries interested in OECD membership is subject to unanimous adoption by the Council of the Organisation, including all member states. The adoption of such a decision takes into account both the existence of political consensus and the readiness of the candidate country, which is being assessed inter alia on the basis of a thorough review by the OECD Secretariat against the criteria contained in the Framework for the Consideration of Prospective Membersadopted by the Council in 2017.

In case of a positive decision of the Council on opening negotiations with the candidate country, an Accession Roadmap is prepared, which is approved by the Council and outlines in detail the necessary technical reviews to be undertaken by the various OECD committees in different areas with a view to assess the candidate country’s readiness to apply the OECD standards and good practices in accordance with the Organisation’s legal instruments. In the process of conducting the reviews, the Organisation usually makes a series of recommendations to be addressed by the candidate country with a view to its full alignment with the OECD standards.

At the conclusion of the technical reviews, the OECD Council shall act unanimously on issuing an invitation to membership to the candidate country, followed by signing of an accession agreement.

Find out more about the OECD enlargement process. - https://www.oecd.org/about/document/enlargement.htm

In order to prepare Bulgaria for starting OECD membership discussions with Decision №789 of the Council of Ministers of 20.12.2017, amended and ext. with Decision of the Council of Ministers 444 / 11.06.2021, a special permanent Interinstitutional Coordination Mechanism (ICM) was established for Bulgaria’s accession to the OECD. The ICM is chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and is attended by representatives of the ministries and agencies involved in cooperating with the OECD.

The measures for the preparation of our country are included in three-year Roadmaps, containing specific actions for accession to the OECD. Download the English summary of the current Roadmap for the period 2021-2023. It incorporates the Action Plan - which was developed in collaboration with the OECD Secretariat in 2019 , a structured working document outlining the main needed measures in 21 areas to meet the standards of the OECD and implement the criteria for membership in the Organisation in accordance with the requirements of the Framework for the Consideration of Prospective Members.

Over the last few years, in implementation of the Action Plan and of the three-year national Roadmaps, Bulgaria has adhered to a range of OECD legal instruments and has intensified its participation in a growing number of OECD committees and working groups, as the efforts of our country are focused on maintaining an active position and bringing added value to their work.

Currently, Bulgaria participates with the status of a “member”/”associate member” in the activities of 13 working groups, in 6 other bodies it has the status of a “participant”, and in another 19 it is a “guest”/”observer”. Find out more about Bulgaria’s participation in the various OECD working formats - https://oecdgroups.oecd.org/

Our country has adhered to 32 legal instruments and has requested accession to another 6 (for more information visit https://legalinstruments.oecd.org/en/).

From the legal instruments, accession to which is considered mandatory In the Framework for the Consideration of Prospective Members, Bulgaria has acceded to 6 out of 8 OECD standards:

  • Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions;
  • Recommendation on Principles of Corporate Governance;
  • Recommendation on Principles for Internet Policy Making;
  • Recommendation on Good Statistical Practice;
  • Inclusive Framework on BEPS Implementation;
  • Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes to the OECD.

The process of adhering to the remaining 2 standards is underway, i.e. to the OECD Codes of Liberalisation of Capital Movements and Current Invisible Operations and to the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises and related instruments.

Among the most significant achievements on the path to the OECD in recent years is the successfully accomplished process of Bulgaria’s accession to the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), to the OECD and its Data Bank (as of January 1st, 2021, our country has become the 34th member state of the NEA) and the launch on January 29th, 2021, of the Economic Survey for Bulgaria, prepared by the OECD for the first time since 1999, etc. The key messages of the Economic SURVEY for the economy and finance, as well as the recommendations for our country, are summarized in a short brochure.

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