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Bulgaria and the OECD with a Joint Action Plan for action on receiving an invitation to membership

24 January 2019 Events and Discussions

The Deputy Foreign Minister Todor Stoyanov and the Director of Global Relations of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and the G20, Sous Sherpa Andreas Shaal, who is visiting Sofia, discussed the preparation of a Joint Action Plan between Bulgaria and the OECD to speed up the receipt of an invitation to membership negotiations.

During the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister Stoyanov emphasized that obtaining a date for the start of negotiations for membership in the OECD is among the top priorities of the Bulgarian government. He recalled that Bulgaria had formally applied  in 2007.

“We are grateful for the support we receive from the Secretary-General and the OECD Secretariat. The Joint action plan must be adopted as soon as possible. We will use it as a tool to speed up the process of fulfilling the membership criteria,” said Todor Stoyanov.

The Bulgarian diplomat underlined the significant efforts that Bulgaria has made to be admitted to the OECD and pointed out that as a member of the European Union our country has already met most of the criteria for admission to the organisation.

“We are convinced that Bulgaria deserves an invitation to OECD membership talks,” said Deputy Minister Stoyanov. “We do not waste time, we work hard to meet the criteria. The government has made important decisions, including the establishment of an interinstitutional coordination mechanism, we have a roadmap. We expect strong support from our partners and OECD members. This will give a clear signal that our efforts are appreciated,” added Todor Stoyanov.

On behalf of the Secretary-General of the OECD – Jose Angel Guria, Andreas Shaal expressed satisfaction with the wonderful cooperation that the organisation has with Bulgaria.

“We will continue to work with you. One of the reasons for my first visit is that we do not want to waste time. We see how much effort you put in,” said Andreas Shaal.

He emphasized that the OECD General Secretariat supports a policy of enlarging the organisation and accepting new member states from Europe. Andreas Shaal also pointed out that, from a geostrategic point of view, the countries of South-Eastern Europe, the Pacific and Central Asia are becoming increasingly important for the OECD and its member states.

“A big topic for us is the next stage of enlargement. We see this as a strategic issue – to open up to Europe, but also to Latin America. We want to have members on every continent in order to make our standards relevant around the world,” said Andreas Shaal.

He informed that candidates for the OECD are Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru. Bulgaria is a candidate for the OECD along with Croatia and Romania.

At the subsequent meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with representatives of the Ministries of Economy, Finance, Environment and Water, Energy and Regional Development and Public Works and the National Statistical Institute, Andreas Schaal was informed about the specific cooperation that Bulgaria is developing with the OECD.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development was established in 1961 in order to stimulate policies aimed at achieving the greatest possible degree of sustainable economic development, raising the living standards of the population and maintaining financial stability. Currently, 37 countries from Europe, North America, South America and Asia are members of the OECD. The European Commission participates in the work of the OECD as an observer.

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