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OECD Deputy Secretary-General: The accession process will depend on Romania's response

July 21, 2022

Romania's Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Monday welcomed a delegation of the Secretariat of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), led by Deputy Secretary-General Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen.The OECD official said after a meeting with Aurescu that Romania's accession to the organisation would depend on the country's response to recommendations for changes in practices, policies and legislation."As for the timeline of the accession process itself, let me just recall that on the OECD side there is no set end date. The duration of the process will depend on Romania's response to the committee's recommendations for changes to legislation, policies and practices. Although you are staring the process with four other countries, each country will advance at its own pace and its own merits; it's not a race. What is more important is that we achieve what we achieve together though the accession process. With that, let me invite you and your country to take full advantage of the great potential of the accession process to deliver better policies for better lives. ( ...) We look forward to strengthening the OECD together as a community of nations unified by our commitment to rule-based economic order. We look forward to assist Romania moving to achieve our common goal of Romania joining the OECD as soon as possible," said Vestergaard Knudsen.He added that OECD co-operation with Romania dates back to the 1990s."Our cooperation dates back to the 1990s and really has stood the test of time as Romania has become one of closest partners of the OECD. (...) And I have been assured just over last couples of hours that this is actually still a process that enjoys full consensus in Parliament, so we look forward to working with you. We want to help Romania and its people. We've worked together in crucial areas such as public governance, education, economic policy, capital markets. Earlier today, together with the European Commission and the Romanian authorities we launched the OECD capital markets review of Romania. It comes at a time when it is more important than ever for like-minded countries to reinforce that cooperation," the OECD official added.He voiced hope that the technical meetings that will target policy, practices and legislation will be a transformative process and a catalyst for reform in Romania that will provide powerful advantage for the adoption of major legislative and policy changes."OECD membership basically allows countries to tap into the vast reservoir of OECD expertise, advice and policy. Countries are able to learn from past experience of existing OECD members, just as we will be able to learn from Romania's best practices and policies, and there are so many overlapping concerns between Romanian and the OECD agenda. I can mention just reducing inequalities, maximising trade and investment, fostering innovation, protecting the environment, fighting corruption, optimising the effectiveness of education, health and labour market policies. These are all shared concerns."He also thanked Romania for its support of Ukraine.   In turn, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, stated on Monday that the adoption of the Roadmap for accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also represented a recognition of Romania's national efforts to position as a like-minded partner.Aurescu pointed out in his turn that the visit of the OECD delegation represents an essential stage in the preparation of the process of joining the organisation and indicated the steps taken by Romania."We started in relation to the institutions we work with in the interinstitutional task force that was created to work technically on the drawing up of the initial memorandum which represents the next step after the adoption of the roadmap. During this period, including or especially following the adoption of the roadmap, we have completed a phase of strengthening preparations for accession talks through institutional organisation, thus stepping up the work of the Interministerial Committee for Romania's relations with the OECD, chaired by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and responsible for the political coordination of the process. We started the process of creating the task force that which we mentioned managing this process," Aurescu said.He underlined that the Romanian authorities are ready and eager to engage in dialogue with the OECD in order to move through all the stages of the process of joining this organisation in a "very consistent, but also pragmatic, serious, careful way."Our strategic goal is to achieve convergence with countries with consolidated economies through this process and to become part of what the secretary general of the organisation, Mr Cormann, once called for a genuine economic NATO. The OECD motto - 'Better policy for better lives' - will guide our national efforts," Aurescu said.On January 25, the OECD Council decided to launch accession negotiations with Romania. The decision also included Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia and Peru. Romania's Accession Roadmap to the OECD was adopted on June 10.       

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